The San Francisco 49ers are getting receiver Deebo Samuel back in the lineup for a pivotal game against the AFC South-leading Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Samuel has been out with a hairline fracture in his shoulder since he went down during the 49ers’ 19-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 15.
After starting the season 5-0 and averaging a little more than 30 points per game, San Francisco has been on a three-game slide and has scored 17 points exactly in each of its three consecutive losses.
In doing so, the 49ers now find themselves tied with the Seattle Seahawks for first place in the NFC West. San Francisco is 2-0 in the division with victories against the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals, while the Seahawks are 1-1, with a loss to the Rams but a win over the Cardinals.
After the 49ers’ Week 9 bye, Samuel told reporters Friday that he’s looking forward to being back on the field and helping the team correct its course.
“Anytime you’re not part of the game, it’s kind of hard but I have kind of been there before,” Samuel said. “It’s just another game, not trying to do nothing crazy, just go out there and do what I do.”
Samuel practiced in full every day this week and doesn’t have any injury designation ahead of the game in Jacksonville. His teammates are certainly excited to have him back healthy and in the mix.
“He’s such a threat whenever he has the ball,” running back Christian McCaffrey told ESPN. “He makes a play that looks like it’s not going to work go. Just having that confidence that he’s out there means a lot to all of us.”
The team is also reportedly expected to get star left tackle Trent Williams back after he was who was limited throughout the week, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Williams was also hurt during that game with the Browns — suffering a right ankle injury — but was able to finish the game. Due to repeated ankle injuries, Williams’ recovery has taken longer, head coach Kyle Shanahan said.
Jaylon Moore has started in Williams’ place, but the difference has been stark. And nowhere more obvious than in the team’s inability to run the ball. After rushing for the third-highest average yards (156.4) during the winning streak, San Francisco has been just below middle of the pack at 19th with 95.3 yards since the Browns game.
Williams is listed as questionable.