If you've been following along with the 49ers recent downpour of injury news as of late, San Francisco will be without a handful of starters as they return to MetLife Stadium in Week 3 to face the New York Giants. But on a positive note, their second-year wide receiver could be nearing his season debut.
Deebo Samuel has been working his way back from an offseason stress fracture in his foot that was set to sideline him for 12-16 weeks. Samuel was activated from the Non-Football Injury list at the start of the season with the hopes of being available in the Week 1 divisional matchup against the Cardinals.
Instead, he was placed on Injured Reserve, which per league rules, after three weeks, the player will be eligible to return to practice. Barring any setbacks, that has the breakout wide receiver set to return ahead of the 49ers Week 4 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Samuel made the trip with the team to West Virginia in between back-to-back matchups against the New York Jets and Giants. According to Kyle Shanahan, the wideout has looked good in his rehab and appears to be on track for a timely return.
"I'm optimistic he'll be back next week," Shanahan said. "He had a real good week, last week hitting the rehab hard with all those guys. Just being able to watch him work out here on the side, he looks real good running routes and he's been able to do it without pain. So, I'd expect to get him back next week."
The 49ers could choose to be cautious in Samuel's return to the field. Dating back to August, the receiver looked ahead of schedule, running full-speed sprints during training camp practices. Although he may receive the green light to return to return to practice in preparation for the Eagles, San Francisco will further assess his readiness once the team returns to Santa Clara next week.
"Whether that means the game on Sunday, I don't know. That's stuff that I don't even think about until I see how he looks on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday," Shanahan added.