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Deebo Samuel's Injury 'Most Likely' a High Ankle Sprain, 49ers' Kyle Shanahan Says

Erin WalshDecember 11, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 23: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs with the ball during the NFL professional football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers on October 23, 2022 at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers star Deebo Samuel exited Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second quarter and was ultimately ruled out with an ankle injury.

Samuel's leg got twisted awkwardly on a tackle and he was slow to get up before eventually being carted off the field.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed after the game that Samuel "most likely" suffered a high ankle sprain, per The Athletic's Matt Barrows.

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Deebo Samuel is down and slow to get up after the last play after what appears to be a knee injury. <a href="https://t.co/uVPZJQ1VV6">pic.twitter.com/uVPZJQ1VV6</a>

The only time Samuel has missed this season came in a Week 8 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams with a hamstring injury that he suffered in a Week 7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Through San Francisco's first seven games, Samuel had been one of the team's best players. He caught 32 passes for 387 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 138 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

He entered Sunday's game having caught 50 passes for 569 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games, in addition to rushing for 207 yards and two scores.

The 2019 second-round pick has been mostly durable through his four-year NFL career. However, he appeared in just seven games during the 2020 season because of two separate hamstring injuries and a foot ailment.

When fully healthy, Samuel is one of the most effective players on the field for San Francisco. His best season came in 2021 when he caught 77 passes for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games, in addition to rushing for 365 yards and eight scores.

When the South Carolina product is sidelined, the 49ers have enough talent to make up for his loss, including Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey.

The 49ers entered Sunday's game with an 8-4 record. They'll need Samuel fully healthy for a push for the playoffs.