49ers' Deebo Samuel out vs. Rams due to hamstring injury

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Friday, October 28, 2022

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel has made a habit of torturing the Los Angeles Rams, but he won't be able to do it Sunday as he has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Samuel, who did not practice all week, suffered the injury in last Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Niners set for their bye week after Sunday's game in Los Angeles, Samuel will have an extra week to get healthy before the Nov. 13 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

"It's not a precaution," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "He's not good enough to go. The fact that he even had a chance means hopefully he'll be good with the week off and ready for the next game."

While the 49ers would miss Samuel regardless of their opponent, they'll miss him a little more given his recent success against the Rams.

In seven career starts against the Rams, Samuel has 66 touches for 740 yards and seven touchdowns. In the past five of those games, he has 52 touches for 621 yards and five touchdowns.

Since the start of the 2021 season, Samuel has posted 100 scrimmages yards and a touchdown six times. Three of those games have come against the Rams.

With Samuel out, the Niners would normally plug Jauan Jennings into his spot opposite Brandon Aiyuk but Jennings is also dealing with a hamstring injury. Jennings has done some running on the side the past couple of days and is listed as questionable for Sunday.

Behind Samuel and Jennings, the Niners have a group of wideouts that includes Ray-Ray McCloud and rookie Danny Gray with practice squad options such as Willie Snead IV, Malik Turner and Tay Martin available for elevations to provide depth. Shanahan indicated one of those practice squad wideouts will likely be promoted depending on whether Jennings is able to play.

One other way to compensate for Samuel's absence comes in the form of running back Christian McCaffrey. He is similar to Samuel in his versatility and, though running back is his natural position, he has also had a long track record of success catching passes.

With a full week of practice under his belt to absorb the game plan, McCaffrey is likely poised for a bigger role than the 21 snaps he played last week.

"He worked real hard to get his stuff last week," Shanahan said. "We gave the whole team the game plan on Wednesday. It's harder for a guy when he hasn't heard the stuff other weeks but he did great in his three practices and he's good to go."

Also not playing Sunday is defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot, ankle), fullback Kyle Juszczyk (broken finger) and linebacker Dre Greenlaw (calf) have also been ruled out.

Like Jennings, cornerback Jason Verrett, who is coming back from a knee injury, is also listed as questionable for Sunday.