49ers’ Kyle Shanahan ‘hoping’ Deebo Samuel is available for Week 1
Deebo Samuel is going to miss time for the San Francisco 49ers, but his status to begin the season remains uncertain. Despite the unknown timetable for his return, Kyle Shanahan is ‘hoping’ that Samuel is available in Week 1, per ESPN’s Nick Wagoner.
#49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said the hope remains that WR Deebo Samuel will be available for Week 1 but he's not counting on it and it's still a bit early to make any sort of accurate projection on that.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) August 15, 2020
While players weren’t able to use team facilities this offseason, Samuel was conducting workouts with his some of his teammates. However, the second-year wideout would suffer a broken foot and would undergo surgery.
Back in June, Samuel was given a 12-to-16 week timetable to return. Nevertheless, it’s still unclear whether or not he is going to be back in time for the start of the 2020 season in September.
Samuel emerged as a key contributor for San Francisco last season as a rookie. The second-round pick out of South Carolina finished with 57 receptions for 802 yards and three touchdowns.
At the same time, he accounted for 159 rushing yards and another three scores on the ground. His ability to create with the ball in his hands allows Shanahan to utilize him in a variety of ways.
With Samuel sidelined, rookie Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne are the top wideouts on the depth chart. Besides Aiyuk and Bourne, Jalen Hurd and Dante Pettis could see more reps in practice. Meanwhile, the 49ers also added veterans J.J. Nelson and Tavon Austin earlier this week.
Shanahan realizes San Francisco’s offense is better when Samuel is on the field for them. But he’s not going to assume an exact date for the playmaking wideout to return. The 49ers begin the season versus the new-look Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 on September 13.