The San Francisco 49ers have one more game to win if they want to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVIII. Their final NFC opponent of the season comes against the Detroit Lions, who are hoping to continue their Cinderella story by making it to their first-ever Super Bowl.
The 49ers need all hands on deck to ensure the Lions don't get their happy ending so all eyes are going to be on Deebo Samuel, who went down in the NFC Divisional Round against Green Bay. Samuel left in the first half with a shoulder injury and did not return. In fact, when he did return to the sideline in the second half, he was rocking street clothes and not his pads and helmet.
Not having Samuel would be a massive problem for the Niners, as he's a huge part of their offense. The 49ers thrive on ensuring that Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, and George Kittle get the majority of the targets/carries for their offense. Removing Samuel from that equation makes it easier to cover McCaffrey and Kittle.
Will Deebo Samuel play vs. Lions in NFC Championship Game?
Two days after the 49ers came back to beat the Packers, Adam Schefter tweeted that there was a 50-50 chance that Samuel would play against the Lions.
On Thursday, however, Samuel returned to practice and was listed as a limited participant on the injury report. According to Nick Wagoner of ESPN, if Samuel was in pain at all, no one could really tell. This is a good sign that Samuel could end up suiting up and playing at least a fraction of the snaps on Sunday.
The 49ers need Samuel out there if they want to reach their second Super Bowl in four years and they'll need him even more in the Super Bowl should they get there. Having Deebo Samuel on the field when the Lions come to town would hopefully tip the scale even more so in San Francisco's favor.