49ers will be without Deebo Samuel for Rams game

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers point guard Deebo Samuel will miss Sunday’s key NFC West showdown against the rival Los Angeles Rams with a hamstring injury.

Samuel suffered a hamstring injury in last weekend’s loss to Kansas City. He couldn’t practice with the 49ers (3-4) all week before their game against the Rams (3-3).

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday that Samuel was ruled out, but hopes he can return after the bye week.

“It’s not a precaution. He’s not good enough to go,” Shanahan said. “The fact that he even had a chance hopefully means he’ll be good with the week. off and that he will be ready for the next game.”

The Niners will also be without defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who will miss a fourth straight game with foot and ankle injuries, guard Kyle Juszczyk (finger) and linebacker Dre Greenlaw (calf).

Wide receiver Jauan Jennings (hamstring) and cornerback Jason Verrett are questionable. Verrett is looking to play his first game since injuring his knee in the opener of 2021.

Samuel’s absence is a major loss considering the impact he had on the 49ers offense, especially against the Rams.

In his last five games against Los Angeles dating back to the 2020 season, Samuel caught 36 passes for 578 yards and four touchdowns, rushed 22 times for 109 yards and two scores and even threw a 24-yard TD pass to Jennings.

He was responsible for more than 37% of the yards the Niners gained on offense in those games and six of the team’s 11 offensive touchdowns.

Samuel’s most productive game this season also came against the Rams. He took a short pass from Jimmy Garoppolo and turned it into a 57-yard touchdown through a series of broken tackles. He had six catches for 115 yards and the game’s score.

For the season, Samuel had 32 catches for 387 yards and two touchdowns, as well as 138 rushing yards and another score.

The Niners have an option that wasn’t available in Game 1 after acquiring versatile running back Christian McCaffrey in a trade last week from Carolina.

McCaffrey had 62 yards on 10 touches last weekend, two days after joining the team. But he’s expected to play a bigger role on Sunday when he can handle some of the load as a runner and receiver.

“He worked really hard to get his stuff last week,” Shanahan said. “We gave the whole team the game plan on Wednesday. It’s harder for a guy when he hasn’t heard the stuff from other weeks, but he’s done well in his three practices and he’s good to go.


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