Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

George Kittle confident 49ers offense will overcome Deebo Samuel’s absence

Oct 29, 2020 at 4:37 PM--

Deebo Samuel is dealing with a hamstring strain, and the San Francisco 49ers will be without the second-year wide receiver in the coming weeks. His absence will be felt, but it also means opportunities for others.

While the 49ers have had players step up in recent weeks to fill in for others who are sidelined, there is no doubt that Samuel's versatility will be greatly missed. Tight end George Kittle spoke with reporters on Thursday and explained why he has a lot of confidence in the coaching staff's ability to compensate for losses — like that of Samuel.

Kittle shared that Samuel's style of physical play has inspired teammates. The receiver can do it all, it seems. That could mean hauling in a Jimmy Garoppolo-thrown pass deep downfield or taking a handoff and eluding defenders on his way to a significant gain.

"That's all we're trying to do, is play as physical as we possibly can, and Deebo embodies all of that," Kittle shared. "Whether he's lined up in the backfield, it's a jet sweep, or he's running a route, he's always going 100 miles per hour, which is really fun to see. You can just watch him, the way he runs, and how he sets up blocks; he's so good at that.

"Having him is incredible, and definitely not having him, it's a challenge. But we've been down a lot of guys all year, and we always have someone step up."

Kyle Shanahan has shown to be flexible in his game planning. What works one week against one opponent might not be what is needed against the next. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick noted that as something that makes defending a Shanahan offense so challenging. It became evident when the 49ers ran over the Patriots to the tune of 33-6 on Sunday.

"I know we don't have another Deebo on the roster, but I'm fully confident in our coaches being able to account (for the loss) and give other guys opportunities," Kittle continued. "It might not be Trent Taylor on a jet sweep, but it's going to be Trent Taylor getting the ball in space, or anyone, really; other wide receivers.

"Whether it's our fullback, whether it's (Ross) Dwelley, whether it's me, our coaches always account for guys, and it's really fun to see that."

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