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Return of Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel provided 49ers a mental boost

Nov 15, 2023 at 11:11 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers received a significant boost on Sunday with the return of wide receiver Deebo Samuel and tackle Trent Williams against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both players had been sidelined since sustaining injuries on October 15 against the Cleveland Browns.

Samuel returned from a hairline fracture in his shoulder, while Williams was sidelined with an ankle injury. Getting both players back may have played a role in ending the team's three-game losing streak.

After averaging nearly 34 points per game during a 5-0 start to the season, the 49ers struggled, scoring only 17 points in each of their three losses. However, the returns of Samuel and Williams seemed to reignite the team's production, with San Francisco scoring 34 points against the Jaguars.

"I think getting them back is just a boost for our offense mentally just because they're two leaders of our team, they're both two captains, what they bring to the game," head coach Kyle Shanahan said via a conference call on Monday. "I think guys just love having them out there."

While Samuel declared himself "ready to go" since the bye week, Williams was more candid about his health, admitting post-game that he is not fully recovered yet. The good news is that playing on Sunday did not hinder his recovery.

"I don't think I took a step back," Williams said. "Definitely didn't get any better. But I think I'm close to 75, 80 percent. I think I'm still around there."

Williams wasn't confident he would suit up against Jacksonville but decided to give it a go, highlighting the importance of contributing to the team's effort to break its losing streak. While neither he nor Samuel significantly impacted the outcome of the Week 10 showdown, their presence seemed to provide the team with the boost it needed.

"Trent, by no means, wasn't close to 100 percent," Shanahan acknowledged. "I thought it was pretty courageous just to be able to battle throughout that game. Deebo didn't get involved that much. I know he got that reverse and stuff, but he didn't get too much more.

"So I don't think it had a huge impact on the game, but just the way it unfolded. Our players, I think, just knew knowing they were going to be out there always gives them more confidence."

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