SANTA CLARA — Deebo Samuel’s official status is uncertain but he was in good spirits after sustaining a left shoulder injury the 49ers’ 24-21 NFC divisional round win over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night at Levi’s Stadium.
“I’m OK,” Samuel told NBC Sports Bay Area after the win as he joked with 49ers teammates in the locker room.
This was a much different scene than when he injured the same shoulder in the 49ers’ Week 6 loss to the Cleveland Browns. In the locker room following that Oct. 15 loss, Samuel needed help putting on his jacket after the game because of the injury.
On Saturday, Samuel lifted both of his arms up while pulling his shirt over his head.
Samuel only registered two receptions for 24 yards before he was sidelined in the first quarter. The wideout caught his first pass from Brock Purdy for a 15-yard gain while pushing Kyle Juszczyk to the grass in the process.
“I didn’t even know he was in front of me,” Samuel said with a laugh. “He came up to me after the play and asked why I pushed him, but I was just running.”
When Samuel got up from that play, he gave everyone a scare as he hobbled off the field. It turned out that the receiver’s shoe had partially come off, causing him to walk awkwardly off the field.
Two plays later, Samuel caught his second target of the game for nine yards and was fighting for more yards when he landed hard on the grass. The All-Pro remained down on the field while the 49ers’ medical staff surrounded the receiver, who eventually walked under his own power towards the bench just a few yards away.
After being evaluated for a concussion, Samuel was cleared, but shortly there after, his shoulder injury became an issue, forcing him to miss the remainder of the game.
If the versatile receiver is unable to play in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against either the Detroit Lions or Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ray-Ray McCloud and Chris Conley could see increased play along side of Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings.
Coach Kyle Shanahan could have an update on Samuel’s health during his standard next-day conference call Sunday.