NFL legend Jerry Rice had some words for the San Francisco 49ers’ coaching staff after Deebo Samuel left Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an ankle injury.
Rice posted Samuel’s headshot on Instagram and implored the 49ers to switch up their decision-making.
“Please stop running out skill player up the middle,” he wrote. “Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo and now Deebo Samuel all hurt!!”
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan provided a sliver of good news in the postgame press conference. He said Samuel did not break any bones and “most likely” suffered a high-ankle sprain – a painful injury that could keep him off the field for at least the rest of the regular season. However, he could be back in time for the playoffs should the 49ers hold off the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.
Samuel got the ball on a running play with 5:10 remaining in the second quarter. Samuel’s knee appeared to buckle on a tackle as he fumbled the ball. The ball was recovered by Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David, and it gave the Buccaneers good field position.
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Unfortunately, Samuel looked really hurt. Medical personnel brought a cart out for Samuel, and he was whisked away to the locker room before being ruled out with an ankle injury.
He had four catches for 43 yards to go with 21 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. San Francisco was up 21-0 when he was taken off the field.
Over the last few seasons, Samuel has become the jack of all trades for the 49ers. The 2019 second-round pick was set to get an even more elevated role as quarterback Brock Purdy took the reins from an injured Jimmy Garoppolo last week.
Entering Week 14, Samuel had 50 catches for 569 yards and two touchdowns and 207 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He was coming off an All-Pro season in 2021.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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