NFL legend Jerry Rice had a few words for the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff after Deebo Samuel left Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an ankle injury.
Rice posted Samuel’s headshot on Instagram and implored the 49ers to change their decision-making.
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“Please stop running out of skill player in the middle,” he wrote. “Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo and now Deebo Samuel are all hurt!”
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan delivered some good news at his postgame news conference. He said Samuel didn’t break any bones and “most likely” sprained his high ankle, a painful injury that could keep him off the field for at least the rest of the regular season. However, he could return in time for the playoffs if the 49ers hold off the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.
Samuel received the ball on a running play with 5:10 remaining in the second quarter. Samuel’s knee seemed to give out on a tackle as he fumbled the ball. The ball was recovered by Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David and gave the Buccaneers good field position.
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Unfortunately, Samuel seemed really hurt. Medical staff brought a trolley for Samuel, and he was taken to the locker room before being ruled out with an ankle injury.
He had four catches for 43 yards to play with 21 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. San Francisco led 21-0 when he was carried off the field.
In recent seasons, Samuel has become the jack of all trades for the 49ers. The 2019 second-round pick was poised for an even higher role when quarterback Brock Purdy took over from the injured Jimmy Garoppolo last week.
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Entering Week 14, Samuel had 50 receptions for 569 yards and two touchdowns and 207 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He was coming off an All-Pro season in 2021.
Associated Press contributed to this report.