The 49ers returned to the practice field Thursday but were without a pair of starters and a key contributor. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel missed his second day in a row with a hamstring injury. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw sat out with a calf injury. Wide receiver Jauan Jennings was also sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk continues to sit out with a broken finger. Kyle Shanahan already ruled Juice out for Week 8’s matchup against the Rams. It also appears unlikely defensive tackle Arik Armstead misses another week with a foot/ankle injury.
The reporters on hand mentioned that Jennings was seen working on the side of the field during the early portion with the training staff. Left tackle Trent Williams also returned after a veteran’s day off.
The 49ers have a bye week after the Rams. It makes more sense to give Deebo’s hamstring a couple of weeks to heal fully, and have him available for the final nine games of the season as opposed to being limited and in and out of the lineup.
Given Samuel’s success against the Rams and overall importance to the offense, it’s easier to say, “just sit him” when you’re on the outside and not facing what feels like a must-win situation.
If Samuel is out, Christian McCaffrey knows the playbook. You’re swapping the two out but also ramping up McCaffrey’s usage tenfold.