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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel, 49ers set to ‘put everything on the line’ against Lions

Jan 28, 2024 at 10:40 AM--

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Concerns loomed among the San Francisco 49ers fanbase about the availability of star wide receiver Deebo Samuel for the upcoming NFC Championship Game against the Detroit Lions. On Friday, head coach Kyle Shanahan put those worries to rest, confirming that Samuel had received full clearance to play.

Samuel had been recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in last weekend's playoff clash with the Green Bay Packers. The receiver initially feared a recurrence of his Week 6 injury against the Cleveland Browns—a hairline fracture in his shoulder.

"At the time, it was hurting really bad," Samuel shared with reporters after Friday's practice. "I was kind of scared a little bit. I thought I had fractured again, and I was just all over the place. In a big game like that, I had millions of emotions on the sideline, trying to kind of hold them together for my team."

Luckily, Samuel's condition improved as the week progressed. His participation in practices increased, and by Friday, he was declared full-go for the Super Bowl-qualifying contest at Levi's Stadium.

When asked if any limitations would be placed on Samuel against the Lions, Shanahan confidently stated, "No, none."

The coach even hinted at the possibility of Samuel contributing to special teams by returning kickoffs. Shanahan assured reporters that Samuel faced no risk of aggravating his injury, making the decision to clear him straightforward.

Samuel told reporters that he spent "countless hours" at the team's facility during the week, trying to get healthy enough to suit up with his teammates.

"With a game like this, got to put everything on the line because we've been here for the last five years, and three years we fell short," Samuel shared. "And then one year, we fell short at the Super Bowl. It's kind of like, what is it going to take? And I feel like we got all the things that we need in this building from [CEO] Jed [York], [general manager] John [Lynch], and Kyle to all the players. So I feel like it's all hands on deck, and we know what's at stake."

When asked about the need to protect his shoulder from further injury against the Lions, Samuel promptly responded, "I ain't protecting nothing."

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