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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan expects Deebo Samuel to practice ahead of 49ers-Eagles

Sep 25, 2020 at 11:28 AM--

Reinforcements may be on the way for the injury-stricken San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is optimistic that the team will get wide receiver Deebo Samuel back next week — at least for practices. The coaching staff will use those practices to determine if the second-year receiver is healthy enough to play on October 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Samuel, in June, suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot and has been working relentlessly to return to the football field. He is with the team at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

"I'm optimistic he'll be back next week," Shanahan told reporters on Friday. "He had a real good week. Last week, hitting the rehab hard with all those guys, and just being able to watch him work out here on the side, he looks real good running routes, and he's been able to do it without pain. So I expect to get him back next week.

"Whether that means the game on Sunday, I don't know. That's stuff that I don't even think about until I see how he looks on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday."

Samuel is in his second NFL season. He hauled in 57 passes for 802 yards with three touchdowns as a rookie in 2019 while adding 14 carries for 159 rushing yards and three more scores on the ground.

Samuel was placed on short-term injured reserve before Week 1, which means he is eligible to return for that Week 4 matchup against the Eagles.

"Deebo's doing well," general manager John Lynch said during a KNBR interview on Thursday. "He's really improving. We felt like he was close [at the start of] the season, and it didn't quite happen. But maybe it's a blessing. It allowed this thing more time to heal, and we know he's an impact player when he's there.

"He's such a great teammate, though. He's here with us at The Greenbrier, working his tail off. He's, already in Year 2, assuming a kind of vocal leader role on this team. It's fun to have him around. He's a fun guy, always laughing, and always in a positive mood. Aside from that, being a tremendous player."

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