San Francisco 49ers: 4 players who bounce back strong in 2021
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers suffered plenty of setbacks in 2020, but there are reasons to believe these four players end up bouncing back nicely this season.
A lot of things went wrong for the San Francisco 49ers last season, namely the slew of injuries that ultimately compiled to be the prime reason why head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad finished 6-10.
Injuries played a bigger role than just not having those key impact players be unavailable. The cohesiveness of certain units suffered, and the lack of chemistry between starters and their fill-in injury-replacement teammates lacked for the bulk of 2020.
As long as the Niners stay mostly healthy this year, that should change.
But there are other reasons why a number of players could experience some serious bounce-back campaigns in 2021.
Here are four to keep an eye on this upcoming season.
No. 4: 49ers Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel‘s rookie year was exceptional enough with him amassing 961 total yards from scrimmage, second best in franchise history behind the Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice.
But a foot fracture during the 2020 offseason cut into Samuel’s offseason workouts and prevented him from seeing action for the first three weeks of the regular season. And as is so often the case with a lower body injury, the first setback ultimately led to another when Samuel suffered a hamstring injury in Week 7.
Samuel only managed 391 receiving yards over just seven games, epitomizing all the injury problems San Francisco had.
Fully healthy now, and poised to be paired alongside the 49ers’ other top pass-catchers, fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle, Samuel will look to get back into the kind of form he displayed during that memorable rookie season.
On top of that, the Niners are going to partake in a regular offseason program, something that was denied to Samuel last year and the rest of the team anyway in light of the pandemic.
Nothing replicates those offseason-workout reps, meaning Samuel should be fully conditioned for a bounce-back 2021 campaign.