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Injury updates: Deebo Samuel has a shot at playing Week 1

Fred Warner remains on the COVID-19 list

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke to the media Sunday morning and provided a few injury updates regarding the team. Lynch said he loves the new practice squad rules as it gives the Niners more flexibility.

The big news came regarding Deebo Samuel, who was recently activated off the NFI list. Lynch was asked if Samuel has a shot at playing against the Cardinals during Week 1. Here’s Lynch’s answer:

“He does have a shot. Tuesday morning, we’ll have a summit with Dr. Anderson, who did the surgery, and Dr. Adams and our training staff to take the latest look at the scans and what not to see exactly where he’s at. I can tell you that Deebo has done a fantastic job. I’m a huge believer that if you get injured, and you’re already in great shape that you tend to heal quicker. We’re hopeful, but I don’t have an answer because we don’t know it yet.”

So, we’ll find out more about Samuel come Tuesday. If I’m the 49ers, I don’t say a word until next Sunday when the inactives come out 90 minutes before the game. Fans will be OK. There’s no reason to give the Cardinals a competitive advantage.

Lynch also was asked whether the restructuring of Dee Ford’s contract would lead to any bigger moves:

“I think that move was more of a housekeeping, cap-mechanics type of move. In terms of how long he’s going to be here and what we’re paying him, it’s all the same. There are going to be some things coming down the line that will balance it out. As far as going to get a big-time player, our roster is pretty much set. We’re always going to be looking to try and improve. I know there’s been some conjecture that a move is coming as a result of that, but you’re always building reserves as far as the practice squad this year, which is bigger. You have contingencies that you hope you don’t have to use for IR. And then, there’s a 46-man roster with incentives that we’re expecting our guys to hit. That’s why you make some of those moves. It was really more of a housekeeping move than anything.”

Those words will not stop you from thinking extensions are coming. As far as Trent Williams goes, it seemed like the team wanted to make sure he holds up during the season. I know a lot of fans felt like this move was coming for Williams, but he’s practiced for a month. We already knew he was an elite offensive lineman. The question was whether Williams would hold up during the season. Rewarding him for playing through August doesn’t make much sense.

Lynch did say later during the conference call that “a few things were coming down the pipeline, and I don’t want to get into it too much” when asked if extensions were coming. In a couple of months, that would make sense to extend Williams, or the team’s star linebacker. Speaking of, Lynch added that Fred Warner is still on the COVID-19 list. He couldn’t go into any further detail per the NFL rules.

Lynch said defensive end Ronald Blair was close to fully recovering from last year’s ACL tear, but he noted that it’s only been nine months this week since the surgery and that Blair wasn’t quite ready. He’ll begin the season on the PUP list and will miss the first six weeks.

Lynch is hopeful that Brandon Aiyuk, Ben Garland, and Kyle Juszczyk all return to practice Wednesday. “They’re out here as we speak training and working really hard. On Wednesday, the first injury report comes out, but those guys have a chance, so we’ll see where it goes.