SF 49ers would make playoffs if these 5 players stayed healthy
By Peter Panacy
No. 4: SF 49ers Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel
One of the biggest concerns for former South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel coming out in the 2019 NFL Draft was his injury history.
After a relatively healthy rookie season, injuries bit Samuel hard in 2020, first during the offseason when he suffered a Jones fracture in his foot, then again with multiple hamstring injuries over the course of the regular season.
Those setbacks forced the impressive-yet-often-injured standout to miss seven out of a possible 13 games this year, putting quite an abbreviation on his follow-up efforts to match or exceed his 802 receiving yards from a season ago.
More importantly, Samuel’s recurring absences meant more pressure on rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk this season. While Aiyuk has risen to the surface as the No. 1 option for the SF 49ers offense this year, the idea was to pair both pass-catchers together as a legitimate one-two threat.
Instead, wide receiver has been a near-rotating door for Kyle Shanahan with Aiyuk essentially being the only reliable and available player for the bulk of the year.
If Samuel stays healthy, the Niners clearly have much more offensive thump than they have had otherwise, and they’d certainly be averaging more than 6.6 pass yards per play this season.