Uncertain: Deebo Samuel’s Status for NFC Championship Game Raises Concerns for 49ers

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel’s availability for the NFC Championship Game against the Detroit Lions is uncertain, according to coach Kyle Shanahan. Samuel suffered a shoulder injury during the team’s playoff win over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. Although there is no fracture, the extent of the injury is still unknown and the team hopes to have a clearer picture of Samuel’s status by midweek.

Shanahan expressed relief that Samuel’s shoulder was not broken but admitted that it is still too painful to determine if he will be able to play. The team will patiently assess his condition on Wednesday before making a decision. The 49ers have already begun formulating their offensive game plan for the upcoming game, but Samuel’s potential absence would require adjustments.

While the team was pleased with the contributions of veteran receiver Chris Conley in the Packers game, Samuel’s absence would certainly be a blow to the 49ers. Losing him early in the game created numerous challenges for the play-calling, and his absence was felt by quarterback Brock Purdy, who struggled with accuracy due to the rain and wet football. Purdy and the team could have benefitted from having Samuel on the field, as evidenced by their successful partnership in a previous game against the New York Giants.

Samuel himself has extra motivation to play against the Lions, as the 49ers have experienced heartbreak in the NFC Championship in the past two years. Additionally, there is added tension between Samuel and Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who has been engaged in a feud with the 49ers receiver since the regular season. The ongoing spat has added even more anticipation to the upcoming matchup.

As the 49ers await updates on Samuel’s condition, they must prepare for the possibility of playing without him in the crucial NFC Championship Game. Amidst the uncertainty, the team remains focused on their game plan and finding ways to overcome any challenges that may arise.