Kyle Shanahan says WR Deebo Samuel could return to practice this week

Dec 26, 2022, 3:55 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the second half in the game aga...
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 24: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the second half in the game against the Washington Commanders at Levi's Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The giving season isn’t over for the San Francisco 49ers just yet, as wide receiver Deebo Samuel could be returning soon for the Red & Gold.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday that Samuel is progressing well in his rehab from a sprained MCL and ankle, hopefully targeting a return to the practice field by the end of the week.

“We will see how it goes in these next two days with rehab. I think there’s a chance [he can practice], possibly later in the week, we’ll see though,” Shanahan said Monday via conference call.

Samuel has been on sidelines since a Week 14 clash with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The wideout was tackled awkwardly from behind in the second quarter of the said game, having to be carted off the field in visible pain. Initially thought to be a serious injury, MRIs revealed that Samuel would only be out a few weeks. A huge sigh of relief for the Super Bowl contenders.

If all goes well over the next couple of days, Samuel could be back on field in time for the 49ers to close out the regular season against the Arizona Cardinals. If not, he’ll be close to 100% for Wild-Card Weekend.

More good news for San Francisco, as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had his cast removed over the weekend. His timeline to return from the foot fracture is still unclear at this time. Jimmy G broke his left foot in the team’s win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 14. Hoping he could return some time in the postseason, the 49ers declined to place him on injured reserve.

Additionally, running back Elijah Mitchell is also making good progress in his rehab, and could be back on the practice field by Friday. It’s unlikely that he would be activated off the IR in time for New Year’s Day against the Las Vegas Raiders, but Week 18 is very possible.

“Yeah, there’s a chance,” Kyle Shanahan added. “I don’t think this week, I think the earliest is possibly Friday maybe…He’s healing up, he’s had no setbacks. He’s doing well. So we’ll see if he’s available next week for us.”

Mitchell has been dealing with his second MCL sprain of the 2022 season since Week 12, injuring his knee against the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers have one remaining return-from-IR designation left, purposing setting it aside for the second-year tailback the past few weeks.


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