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Deebo Samuel injury updates: Will shoulder issue keep WR out vs. Lions?

The San Francisco 49ers have seen what not having wide receiver Deebo Samuel does to their offense. And they hope history doesn’t repeat itself in Sunday’s NFC championship game.

Samuel suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of last week’s 24-21 win over Green Bay and didn’t return. He’s listed as questionable to play this week against the Detroit Lions (6:30 p.m. ET, Fox) with a spot in Super Bowl 58 going to the winner.

In the three games Samuel missed during the regular season (two full games and the one in which he was hurt in the first quarter), the Niners lost all three and scored exactly 17 points in each − their lowest point total of the season.

Here’s what we know about Samuel’s recovery and status for the playoff matchup:

Will Deebo Samuel play vs. Lions?

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He does have the benefit of an extra day of rest since the top-seeded Niners’ playoff opener was last Saturday (while the Lions played on Sunday).

Samuel’s participation level in practice the rest of the week should provide an indication of how likely it is he’ll suit up.

What was Deebo Samuel’s injury?

Samuel left Saturday’s game early against Green Bay with what was diagnosed as a head injury, but he was cleared to return. Shortly afterward, he came out of the game for good with a shoulder injury — the same ailment that caused him to miss time earlier in the season.

‘He tried to come back but couldn’t do it,’ San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the gme.

Shanahan said Monday that Samuel did not suffer a fracture in his left shoulder, but he is still in pain.

Deebo Samuel’s stats for 2023 season

In 15 regular-season games, Deebo Samuel caught 60 passes for 892 yards and seven touchdowns. He also ran the ball 37 times for 225 yards (6.1 per carry) and five touchdowns.

He caught two passes for 24 yards against Green Bay in the Niners’ playoff opener last Saturday.

Who is Deebo Samuel’s backup?

With Samuel sidelined, wide receiver Juwan Jennings stepped up for the Niners vs. Green Bay, with a team-leading five receptions for 61 yards. That came after Jennings missed the final three regular season games with a concussion.

Jennings will likely see an increased workload against the Lions opposite Brandon Aiyuk, with Chris Conley, Ronnie Bell and Ray-Ray McCloud also in the receiving mix.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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