49ers roster: 5 players who must step up with Deebo Samuel out

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Jauan Jennings, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: 49ers Wide Receiver Jauan Jennings

Earlier this season, when thinking about who San Francisco’s No. 3 wide receiver would be, special teams ace Trent Sherfield was atop the equation. Then, veteran wideout Mohamed Sanu emerged as the top option.

In recent weeks, however, second-year receiver Jauan Jennings has taken over that role, thanks largely to Sanu’s own injury issues and the fact Jennings has started to do a lot of the little things that’ll earn him more field time, such as blocking.

Those efforts have paid off, as Jennings was one of Jimmy Garoppolo’s touchdown recipients in the win over the Vikings, and the former Tennessee standout nearly had another scoring grab, only to be ruled out of bounds after further review.

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Nevertheless, Jennings is now poised for an even greater workload with Deebo Samuel out.

Sure, Jennings isn’t likely to see anywhere close to the number of touches that would otherwise go to Samuel, particularly on the ground. Yet Jennings is going to get an increase in snap count and will likely see a noticeable uptick in targets, too, if Garoppolo and the 49ers offense is forced to rely more upon the aerial attack over the next two weeks.