A player who might have won Super Bowl 54 MVP had the 49ers held off the Chiefs in the fourth quarter of that game could start the 2020 season on the shelf.
Deebo Samuel, who as a rookie last season led all San Francisco wide receivers in receptions and receiving yards, suffered a broken foot — specifically, a Jones fracture — during a throwing session Tuesday in Nashville with his teammates, according to NFL.com. The 24-year-old had surgery on his foot Thursday.
Same fracture led to Trent Taylor’s surgery last preseason, then ensuing infections sidelined him all season. #49ers need Deebo to heal well for another Super Bowl run https://t.co/6r4XHa8CPZ
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) June 18, 2020
According to Healthline, a Jones fracture is “a break between the base and shaft of the fifth metatarsal bone of (the) foot. This is the bone on the outside of the foot, which is connected to the pinkie toe. It’s the most common type of metatarsal fracture.” The site also claims the recovery time for surgery on a Jones fracture is seven weeks or fewer with weight being kept off the injured foot for up to six weeks.
Based on a tweet from Samuel himself, it seems he expects to be back on the field in 10 weeks. In that case, he would return before the start of the season.
10 weeks I’m back better than the deebo you seen before 🙏🏾
— UnoCaptain‼️❌ (@19problemz) June 18, 2020
The 49ers and all NFL teams are scheduled to report to training camp late next month, and the league plans to start the regular season on time (Sept. 10) despite coronavirus-related complications.
Samuel, who had a team-high five catches for 39 yards against Kansas City in February, also broke a Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a wide receiver with 53 on three carries.
If Samuel has to miss an extended amount of regular-season time in 2020, it will be a big blow to an offense that often utilizes misdirection and play-action. The speedy Samuel is a big part of coach Kyle Shanahan’s game planning in that regard.
The 49ers did draft Brandon Aiyuk, a similarly built wide receiver, in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft in part to fill the void left by free-agent departure Emmanuel Sanders. Samuel’s injury suggests the Arizona State product might need to be a bigger part of San Francisco’s offense early in the season than initially expected.