SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Within the days after injuring his left shoulder on Saturday towards the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel had reliable concern that his season may finish.
Lower than every week after Samuel feared he had suffered a second hairline fracture, he and the 49ers acquired the information they’d been hoping for Friday: He has been cleared to play in Sunday’s NFC Championship Sport towards the Detroit Lions.
“A recreation like this, you have to put the whole lot on the road,” Samuel stated. “We have been right here 4 out of the final 5 years and three years we fell quick and one 12 months we fell quick within the Tremendous Bowl. It is type of like, ‘What’s it going to take?’ I really feel like we have all of the issues that we want on this constructing… it is all palms on deck and we all know what’s at stake.”
Whereas Samuel and the Niners are happy simply to have him out there for the workforce’s third NFC Championship Sport look in as many seasons, the larger information is perhaps that Samuel has no limitations or restrictions coming into this recreation. Coach Kyle Shanahan even stated it is doable Samuel will proceed to get kick return alternatives.
When Samuel was requested if he is fearful about how he’ll defend himself from additional damage, a defiant Samuel made it clear that is the least of his considerations.
“I ain’t defending nothing,” Samuel stated.
Samuel’s return comes after a bodily and emotionally making an attempt Saturday evening towards the Packers. He suffered the shoulder damage whereas battling for further yards after a catch with 5:35 left within the opening quarter of the NFC divisional spherical win.
After a number of makes an attempt to return into the sport, Samuel ultimately needed to shut it down, which created some tense moments for him watching from the sideline.
“On the time it was hurting like actually dangerous,” Samuel stated. “I used to be type of scared a little bit bit like I believed I had fractured it once more and I used to be similar to in every single place then. An enormous recreation like that, I had thousands and thousands of feelings on the sideline, making an attempt to type of maintain them collectively for my workforce.”
Even after the Niners emerged with a late comeback win to advance to this week’s NFC title recreation, Samuel and the Niners nonetheless had some considerations about his standing. The damage was much like the hairline fracture he suffered in Week 6 towards the Cleveland Browns that saved him out two video games.
“We had been actual fearful proper after the sport as a result of he could not return in and could not end that, which is at all times a priority,” Shanahan stated. “However then get the medical reviews and you recognize that it’s doable.”
The primary signal of hope for Samuel got here on Monday when a litany of exams revealed there was no fracture. The outcomes of the check confirmed a deep bruise which meant that it will simply be a matter of ache tolerance and getting vary of movement again.
Samuel stated he spent “numerous” hours working with the Niners coaching workers to get again to full pace this week. Because the ache continued to subside, he didn’t apply in Wednesday’s mild session, however he was a restricted participant on Thursday and full go in Friday’s exercise.
Throughout the portion of these practices open to the media, Samuel was seen doing his normal work in particular person intervals, bouncing between receiver and working again drills and catching passes from quarterback Brock Purdy with no obvious points.
Samuel’s speedy restoration additionally made it simpler for Shanahan to put in this week’s recreation plan with the probability that Samuel could be out there.
“It is large,” Shanahan stated. “A bit scary originally of the week however by Tuesday it was full go at present. No restrictions on him. That is positively factor for us.”
With Samuel again within the fold, the 49ers enter this NFC Championship Sport about as near wholesome as doable. Linebacker Oren Burks suffered a shoulder damage after he was concerned in a collision in Thursday’s apply is listed as questionable. No different Niners on the lively roster have any recreation designation.
In the meantime, the Lions will likely be with out left guard Jonah Jackson, who injured his knee in final weekend’s playoff win over Tampa Bay, however they are going to have second-team All-Professional heart Frank Ragnow out there for the sport. Ragnow has been slowed by accidents to his ankle, toe, knee and again and did not apply till Friday however has no damage designation for the sport.
The Lions are also anticipated to get edge rusher James Houston again for the primary time since he harm his ankle in Week 2. He was activated from injured reserve final week and is able to play Sunday.