The San Francisco 49ers will once again be without one of their top playmakers for a while. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, the hamstring injury that wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered during Sunday's Week 14 loss to the Washington Football Team will keep him out "a while." Shanahan would not put a timeline on Samuel's return from injury, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner.
Samuel suffered the injury on the 49ers' first play from scrimmage, on which he took an end-around hand-off from Nick Mullens and nearly picked up a first down. It's the latest in a series of injuries for Samuel, who missed much of the offseason and training camp with a Jones fracture in his foot.
He sat out the first three weeks of the season, returned in a limited role in Week 4, and then, just as he appeared to be getting up to full speed, was injured again late in the team's Week 7 victory over New England. Samuel returned to the fold again in Week 12 and looked terrific in losses to the Rams and Bills before suffering the injury on the first play of Week 14's loss.
Of course, he is not the only 49er to miss time this year. Each of Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Brandon Aiyuk, and Kendrick Bourne has been out for at least one game due to injury or COVID-19 protocols. Garoppolo and Kittle remain out, though there is a chance they could return before the end of the season. Samuel, though, apparently may not, having posted a cryptic message on his Instagram stories in the wake of the injury.
San Francisco's disappointing, injury-marred season is likely to keep the Niners out of the playoffs, and the team could undergo some major changes this offseason. Samuel's long-term health should be of far greater priority to the team than getting him back at any point in the next three weeks, so we'd expect them to play it safe down the stretch.