Deebo Samuel cleared to play in NFC Championship Sunday

Jan 26, 2024, 2:39 PM | Updated: 3:01 pm

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after getting a first down during the fourth qua...

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The 49ers are getting ready for a massive showdown with the Lions this Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. And fortunately, they’ll have Deebo Samuel back in the mix.

The San Francisco 49ers star wide receiver has been cleared to play in Sunday’s NFC Championship game, listed without an injury designation against the Detroit Lions. In turn, the Red & Gold have only two players on the game-status report, one of the cleanest injury reports for SF all season.

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan delivered the news Friday, excited to have his star player back in the offense.

“It’s huge,” Shanahan said about having Samuel back. “A little scary at the beginning of the week, but the fact that he was able to go ‘full go’ today and no restrictions on him is definitely a good thing for us.”

Deebo Samuel, 28, returned to the practice field Thursday for the first time since injuring his left shoulder in the NFC Divisional Round against the Green Bay Packers. Samuel initially came out of the game with concussion concerns but was cleared to return in the first quarter. He didn’t feature much after that, leaving the 49ers sidelines prior to halftime.

He was ruled out thereafter due to a shoulder injury.

After early concern of another fracture, tests showed minimal damage to the area. Still, Samuel was in considerable pain for days after, missing the opening practice session for the week. Fortunately, the pain subsided, allowing him to return to practice a day later.

There was some concern though of another fracture to his surgically-repaired shoulder, especially from the player himself.

“It was kind of a relief, just to know it wasn’t a fracture, it was just like a deep bruise or whatever,” Deebo Samuel told the media Friday. “But I’m talking about countless hours in here, day in and day out, just to get where we are right now.”

Samuel injured the same shoulder in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns, suffering a hairline fracture. He missed two additional games because of the injury, while his team went 0-3 in that span.

But while the 49ers will look to keep the big hits away from him, the South Carolina native isn’t shying away from contact against the Lions.

“I ain’t protecting nothin’,” Samuel exclaimed.

The only 49ers’ injuries to report are linebacker Oren Burks (shoulder) and defensive tackle Kalia Davis (ankle). Both men are questionable for the NFC Championship.

Key dates for Deebo Samuel and the San Francisco 49ers

  • Jan. 28th – 3:30 pm PST vs. Detroit Lions (NFC Conference Championship)
  • Sunday, Feb. 4th – NFL Pro Bowl Games
  • Sunday, Feb. 11th – Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
  • Tuesday, Feb. 20th – Teams can begin franchising players until Tuesday, March 5th
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27 – NFL Combine begins

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