The San Francisco 49ers were bit by the injury bug yet again Sunday as star receiver Deebo Samuel had to be carted off the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Samuel, who suffered an ankle injury with five minutes left in the first half, did not return to the contest. Samuel’s injury came with the 49ers already leading by three possessions in what proved to be a 35-7 rout.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the game the team wasn’t yet sure the extent of Samuel’s injury, though nothing was broken. Shanahan indicated it was “most likely” a high-ankle sprain, which NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport shared could carry an injury timeline of 4-6 weeks.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero also reported Samuel is believed to have avoided a “major injury.” Samuel was twisted up in a pile after a run up the middle and the awkwardness of his fall had many questioning whether the 2021 All-Pro might have suffered a more devastating knee injury.
The ailment to Samuel comes one week after San Francisco lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with a foot injury. Garoppolo, who took over earlier in the year after Trey Lance’s injury, is expected to miss the rest of the season. Third-stringer Brock Purdy stepped in Sunday and excelled against the Buccaneers in his first career start.
The 49ers extended their lead in the NFC West to two games over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14. With four regular-season games remaining, the first round of the NFL playoffs is five weeks away.