In the second game during which the 49ers will have their new No. 1 running back available, they will be shorthanded in their receiving corps. The team ruled out Deebo Samuel for their Week 8 game against the Rams as the result of a hamstring injury.
This will be Samuel’s first missed contest of the year. His All-Pro performance in 2021 – during which he posted 1,405 receiving yards and eight rushing touchdowns – led to a dramatic spike in his perceived free agent value. Extension eligible for the first time, a lack of traction in contract talks led the 26-year-old to request a trade in April.
The situation ultimately resulted in a deal being struck at the end of July, though, with Samuel set to average nearly $24M per season. So far in 2022, the final year of his rookie contract, the South Carolina product has once again been featured both in the air and on the ground. Samuel ranks second on the team in receiving (387) and rushing (138) yards.
Another key member of the 49ers’ offense will be absent Sunday. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk had surgery to repair a broken finger earlier this week, as noted by Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 31-year-old had played in every contest so far this year, after having done the same in 2020 and 2021. Those campaigns extended his Pro Bowl streak to six years, meaning his absence will be felt as the team tries to further implement trade acquisition Christian McCaffrey into their offense.
Among the notable defensive players who will be sidelined is Dre Greenlaw. He, too will miss his first contest of the season – ending a welcomed run of availability after he was limited to just three games last season. He is dealing with a calf injury, something which will leave San Francisco’s linebacking corps shorthanded. Greenlaw had played every defensive snap in five games this season, cementing his status as a key member of the unit after agreeing to a two-year extension last month.
The 3-4 49ers will look to rebound from last week’s loss to the Chiefs and attempt to gain ground in the wide-open NFC West against the defending champions.