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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Rapoport believes 49ers will be ‘very, very cautious’ with Deebo Samuel’s return from a broken foot

Jun 18, 2020 at 6:27 PM--

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NFL insider Ian Rapoport broke the news on Thursday that San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones fracture of his left foot this week during a player-organized practice at the Brentwood Academy, just outside Nashville, Tennessee. Rapoport went on to give an estimate of 12 to 16 weeks for Samuel's return.

Samuel, who underwent the surgery today, doesn't believe his return will take that long. He posted on Twitter and Instagram that he expects to be back in 10 weeks.

"It is an injury that receivers have," Rapoport said Thursday during an interview with Damon Bruce, Ray Ratto, and Matt Kolsky on 95.7 The Game. "It is fairly common. It is not something that is career-threatening or not something that really slows you down very much at all. It's just an injury, and you have to get over it."

Rapoport seems to believe that Samuel's estimate is possible, but might be a bit optimistic. The 49ers might have to be cautious with their second-year star receiver.

RELATED 49ers WR Deebo Samuel's surgery on broken foot 'went perfect,' per report

"From what I understand, 12 to [16] weeks is the estimate," Rapoport continued. "I know he put on Instagram that he will see everyone in 10 weeks. If that is the case, that would be an incredible outcome for the 49ers.

"It would also be a small bit scary because you don't want anyone to rush back from this. So I would definitely expect [the 49ers] to be cautious, especially because, the way it's looking, he is looking like a really bright star for this 49ers team. I would think they would be very, very cautious."

Rapoport was asked what he means by "very, very cautious." What is the timeline associated with that?

"He's not going to get on the field until he's absolutely ready to do so," Rapoport responded, "and I think the 49ers are — if he's someone who's going to push, and every player kind of wants to be like that — then they're going to protect him from himself."

Rapoport notes that the 49ers have options to do that, including the non-football injury list, which would force Samuel to miss the first six games of the season.

"I don't know exactly what the Niners are going to do," Rapoport continued. "Obviously, they've got plenty of time, at least six weeks, to really make that decision. But what list he goes on will go a long way to determining when he plays because if he's on NFI ... he can't play for six weeks. That would be a way for the team, theoretically, to protect him from himself."

According to a 49ers representative, the team will have a better idea of Samuel's timetable for a return when players report to training camp next month.

A report from The Athletic stated that the surgery is done and "went perfect."

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