The 49ers took a body blow Thursday with the news that wide receiver Deebo Samuel will need surgery for a broken left foot, the club confirmed.
Samuel sustained the injury during throwing sessions with teammates in Nashville and will have surgery, according to the NFL Network.
The injury is described as a “Jones fracture,” which a break between the base and middle part of the fifth metatarsal of the foot.
Since such fractures can vary in terms of severity and healing time, the 49ers will have a better idea once they report for training camp later this month at an undetermined date how long they will be without one of their most explosive playmakers.
The NFL Network reported a 12- to 16-week absence, which means Samuel will miss most if not all of training camp and likely won’t be available when the 49ers on Sept. 13 against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium. Exactly how much time Samuel will miss will be determined by the healing process.
On his Twitter account, Samuel thought he’d be back sooner:
“10 weeks I’m back better than the Deebo you seen before.”
The NFL is planning to start on time, although circumstances could change due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Samuel, 24, had 57 receptions for 802 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 as a rookie second-round draft pick out of South Carolina. He also rushed for 159 yards and had six touchdowns, three rushing and three passing. In the postseason, Samuel had 10 receptions for 127 yards and six rushes for 102 yards.
In the 49ers’ 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, Samuel’s 53 yards rushing were the most by a wide receiver in Super Bowl history.
Going in to his second year in coach Kyle Shanahan’s system, Samuel is expected to be one of the primary offensive weapons.
After Samuel, the receiver with the most production on the roster is Kendrick Bourne, who had 30 receptions for 359 yards and five touchdowns. Emmanuel Sanders, an in-season arrival and a starter last season, signded with the New Orleans Saints in free agency.
The 49ers selected Brandon Aiyuk out of Arizona State with the 25th pick in the first round of the NFL draft. Other wide receivers on the roster include Jalen Hurd, Travis Benjamin, Dante Pettis, Richie James, Shawn Poindexter and Trent Taylor. Jauan Jennings, a rookie out of Tennessee, was a seventh-round selection.
Samuel’s absence will give Hurd (6-foot-5, 227 pounds) in particular a chance to ascend. A third-round pick out of Baylor in 2019, Hurd’s rookie year was lost to a back injury.
©2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)