Less than a half into the 49ers' postseason, they suddenly had to adjust without Samuel. He went back to the locker room during the second quarter with a shoulder injury. When he came out for the third quarter he was out of uniform, which meant his night was done.
After the game, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Samuel told people around the 49ers that he was "OK" and believes he has a shot to play in the NFC championship game next week.
Samuel was knocked out on the 49ers' first drive of Saturday night's dramatic 24-21 win over the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoffs. After a short catch, Samuel was fighting multiple defenders and trying to get extra yards. Jaire Alexander came in from the side and hit him in the helmet. Samuel stayed down for a while after he was tackled. He didn't immediately go to the medical tent but did so shortly after he came off the field.
Deebo Samuel is down on the field being looked at by trainers after being tackled pic.twitter.com/yg4Il9OPVJ
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 21, 2024
The 49ers said Samuel was being evaluated for a head injury and his return was questionable. He was cleared from that and did return to the game for a few plays, but later Fox's broadcast showed trainers on the sideline working on Samuel's shoulder. Shortly after he went back to the locker room.
Samuel is a huge part of a star-filled 49ers offense. The 49ers were 12-3 with Samuel in the lineup and 0-2 without him this season. But the Niners did manage to win on Saturday after he went down.
The 49ers have plenty of weapons on offense. But Samuel has been hard to replace.