The San Francisco 49ers have only had speedy second-year receiver Deebo Samuel, in the lineup five times during the 2020 season. Samuel suffered a Jones fracture during the offseason, which caused him to miss the first three games. Since then, Samuel has missed some time due to a hamstring injury and a short-stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Samuel’s return came at the perfect time. The sputtering Niners had lost three-straight games going into their Week 12 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. The 24-year-old had an immediate impact with 11 receptions for 133 yards, helping San Francisco get a much-needed win to stay in the playoff race.
It’s plain to see the difference in the 49ers’ offense when Samuel is on the field. The South Carolina Product has appeared in three out of the last six games for the Niners. Here are the team’s offensive stats with Samuel in the lineup versus without him.
With Samuel: 400.6 yards, 26.6 points, three wins.
Without Samuel: 323 yards, 19 points, three losses.
San Francisco is preparing for a massive Monday Night Football showdown against the Buffalo Bills in Week 13, and barring injury or a COVID-related scare, Samuel should be on the field.
Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott is impressed with what he has seen from the receiver, who had several big plays in last week’s victory against Los Angeles.
“Very explosive player. I know Deebo (Samuel) from going through the draft process a few years ago. Dynamic players, strong, great balance, he takes that physical approach into the wide receiver position,” McDermott said. “He’s very difficult with the ball in his hands. You saw last week when there’s four Rams around him, and on what seemed to be a four-yard game, maybe five-yard, Deebo (Samuel) turned it into an 11 plus-yard gain.”
Deebo Samuel is kind of the forgotten man from the 2019 receiver class but when he's on the field, dudes a BALLER!. Just stay healthy. Missed the first 3 games with a broken foot. Missed more games with a hammy issue. But when he's out there he's ballin pic.twitter.com/S95buw5VHt— Crocky (@eric_crocker) November 29, 2020
Samuel is a beast with the ball in his hands. He has the speed and agility to avoid defenders and possesses the strength to truck through them when they’re in close. The Bills are in the middle of the NFL pack, giving up 1,299 yards after the catch, which should bode well for the 49ers’ speedy receivers.
Look for head coach Kyle Shanahan to try and get Samuel some rushing attempts this week as well. Buffalo ranks 22nd against the run, and with a full arsenal of weapons at the skill positions, the Niners should be able to rack up the yards on Monday.