Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel practicing with 49ers ahead of Bengals game; Elijah Mitchell still sidelined

Dec 10, 2021 at 12:21 PM--

On Friday morning, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch labeled wide receiver Deebo Samuel's status as a "kind of wait-and-see" situation. Earlier in the week, head coach Kyle Shanahan said he hoped his offensive playmaker would practice on Thursday. Samuel did not practice. Then Shanahan said he hoped the wideout might practice on Friday.

Samuel was out on the practice field with his teammates on Friday, which bodes well for his availability against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The third-year receiver missed Week 13 due to a groin strain. Last week, he expected his recovery to only "take a week," saying he would return for this weekend's game.

San Francisco will release the game statuses of Samuel and its other injured players in the next few hours.

"I mean, Deebo's a guy that you wait for, and it's a really tough deal," Lynch said on Friday during his weekly KNBR interview. "You don't want to put him in there and lose him for the rest of the year by doing it too early. So, we have some markers that our medical staff set early in the week, and if he can hit those, we'll play him. And Deebo will always affect the game when he's there. So, it's kind of wait-and-see."

Missing from practice was the team's leading rusher, rookie Elijah Mitchell. The running back remains in the concussion protocol and is dealing with a minor knee injury. He has not practiced at all this week.

On Thursday, Shanahan was not optimistic about Mitchell's availability.

"Elijah, holding out hope," Shanahan said on KNBR, "but he still hasn't been able to go and stuff, so not looking real likely. But still holding out hope."

Jeff Wilson Jr., who was dealing with a flare-up in the knee injured this offseason, will likely get most of the workload on Sunday if Mitchell cannot go.

"Jeff has looked really good this week," Lynch said. "He has. Coming back from that knee, he's been back, but then there's the time that you kind of get your legs underneath you. The good news, for us, is this week in practice, he looked like he was moving extremely well and running with great confidence. Jeff Wilson is a really good player."

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