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49ers' Deebo Samuel Expected to Return from Knee, Ankle Injuries vs. Cardinals

Doric SamJanuary 6, 2023

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 11: Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is expected to return from knee and ankle injuries on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 26-year-old suffered a sprained MCL and left ankle that caused him to be carted off the field in the blowout win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14. The 49ers noted that they expected him to be back at some point during the regular season.

Prior to being sidelined, Samuel registered 54 receptions for 612 yards and two touchdowns while adding 228 rushing yards and three scores on 41 carries. His output was a step below his All-Pro 2021 season, but he was still a key difference-maker in the San Francisco offense.

A year ago, he totaled 1,770 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns on his way to earning his first career Pro Bowl selection. He parlayed his stellar season into a three-year, $71.6 million contract extension with $58.1 million guaranteed in July.

In Samuel's absence, Brandon Aiyuk was thrust into the role of No. 1 receiver for San Francisco. He caught 16 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown in the three games Samuel was sidelined.

Samuel couldn't be returning to the 49ers at a better time. The team is still in contention for the NFC's No. 1 seed and is gearing up for a postseason run.