If Deebo Samuel felt his 2022 campaign was 'awful,' his performance for the 49ers on Thursday night against the Giants sure put that issue to rest.
Earlier during the offseason, San Francisco 49ers All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel was asked about his 2022 campaign.
Putting his sentiments into one word, "awful" was how he described his efforts that year.
Samuel clearly wanted to get back on track to that All-Pro 2021 campaign in which he finished with 1,770 all-purpose yards as the Niners' No. 1 offensive weapon.
While he still might now be just a part of San Francisco's large arsenal of offensive weapons, Samuel's performance in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football against the visiting New York Giants certainly was indicative of that memorable 2021 season.
Deebo Samuel reinvents YAC Bros. role in 49ers win over Giants
The 49ers were shorthanded Thursday night with fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk inactive because of a shoulder injury.
That led to quarterback Brock Purdy targeting Samuel a team-high 12 times, six of which went for receptions for 129 yards and a crucial touchdown in the second half that helped the Niners put the primetime game on ice.
Of those 129 yards, though, seemingly two-thirds of them felt as if they came after first contact, which goes a long way in epitomizing the team-proclaimed "YAC Bros." moniker that he, Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle embody.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Kittle said of Samuel, "Every time you give him the ball, he breaks multiple tackles. The attitude is we are going to be as physical as we can and Deebo does such a fantastic job with that.
While he wasn't the sole reason, Samuel did play a vital job in San Francisco's 30-12 victory over New York.
Although there was a bit of a scary moment late in the game.
Deebo Samuel says he's fine after appearing to suffer ribs injury
Not long after his touchdown, Samuel was attempting to break more tackles en route to a first down. But, when Giants defenders finally brought him down, the receiver stayed down on the field for a little longer than fans would have liked, indicating a potential injury.
It appeared as if it might have been a ribs injury, and even head coach Kyle Shanahan wasn't sure if his wideout would require X-rays the following day.
Speaking to reporters later on, though, Samuel clarified what happened.
"I actually fell on the ball, and I thought it was my ribs," Samuel said, via 49ers Webzone. "I think the wind got knocked out of me. But after going in the tent and everything, checked out fine. I was good."
The 49ers likely breathed a sigh of relief with that one.
Samuel, Aiyuk and the rest of the Niners will now have a bit of an extra break as they rest up and prepare for the visiting Arizona Cardinals in Week 4.