The San Francisco 49ers were able to escape a divisional-round playoff game against the Packers on Saturday night with a win despite Deebo Samuel missing most of the game with a left shoulder injury suffered in the first quarter.
But the 49ers will need Samuel if they want to win the 2024 Super Bowl, and his status is currently uncertain for next week's NFC Championship game in Santa Clara against the winner of the Lions-Buccaneers game on Sunday.
The star receiver is scheduled to undergo more testing on Sunday, as the team hopes he doesn't suffer the same hairline shoulder fracture he suffered in mid-October that caused him to miss the next two games, losses to the Vikings and Bengals.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Saturday night that he doesn't yet know how serious Samuel's injury is, but one source He told ESPN They believe Samuel has a chance to play next Sunday.
Samuel, 28, caught 60 passes for 892 yards and seven touchdowns in 15 regular-season games, adding 225 rushing yards and five rushing scores.
When Samuel was injured in Week 6 against the Browns, the Niners scored just 17 points that day in the loss to the Browns, and scored exactly 17 points in each of their next losses at Minnesota and at home against Cincinnati.
“Deebo is a great football player,” 49ers linebacker George Kittle said after Saturday's game, per ESPN. “He's amazing, especially the things we ask him to do. When Deebo is out there and matching him up with Christian (McCaffrey) and switching them up and things like that, it makes our offense what I think is different than any other offense in the NFL. So, am I “Worried about him not playing next week? Yes. We are a different team without Depo.”
Brock Purdy was mostly stifled by the Packers with Samuel sidelined until he engineered a 12-play, 69-yard drive that was capped by Christian McCaffrey's go-ahead 6-yard touchdown run with 1:07 remaining in the fourth quarter.
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