The San Francisco 49ers may be on a six-game winning streak, but they have continued to be hit hard by the injury bug, something which dates back to at least the 2020 season.
The latest casualty has been star wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who exited early in Sunday’s game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He was diagnosed with a sprained MCL and ankle, and head coach Kyle Shanahan says that he expects the 2021 All-Pro First-Team selection to return in about three weeks.
49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan told reporters that he expects WR Deebo Samuel to return from his knee and ankle injuries in around three weeks.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 13, 2022
That would mean that Samuel could be back for the team’s final regular season game on January 8 versus the Arizona Cardinals.
The 49ers Have Lots Of Experience Winning Games Without Key Players
If there has been one constant for the 49ers over the last few seasons, it has been key injuries.
Their starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, has been injury-prone over the years, and some of their other prominent men, including pass rusher Nick Bosa, running back Elijah Mitchell, and left tackle Trent Williams, have all missed extended time with injuries going back to 2020.
This year, it all started with a groin ailment that kept star tight end George Kittle out of San Francisco’s first two games, as well as Trey Lance‘s gruesome ankle injury in Week 2 that prematurely ended his year.
But Shanahan and executive John Lynch have done an admirable job building a very strong team identity around defense and the running game.
The 49ers are the NFL’s best defensive team, and it is axiomatic that a great defensive team will almost always have a shot at winning no matter who is playing or how its offense is functioning.
Don’t be too surprised if San Francisco doesn’t lose another game this season until the playoffs.