SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel will miss at least the next two games with a hairline fracture in his shoulder.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said Saturday that a CT scan determined the extent of the injury suffered on the first play last week in Cleveland. Samuel will miss the game for the 49ers (5-1) on Monday night and the following week at home against Cincinnati.
The Niners are hopeful he can return after the bye week when San Francisco visits Jacksonville on Nov. 12. The team is not considering an injured reserve stint for Samuel that would force him to miss at least four games.
Shanahan also said that running back Christian McCaffrey will be questionable against Minnesota after injuring his oblique last week, and left tackle Trent Williams is doubtful with a sprained ankle. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw is also questionable after missing last week’s game with a hamstring injury.
But they will for sure be without the versatile Samuel, who has 20 catches for 302 yards and a TD to go along with 95 yards rushing and another score this season.
With Samuel out, returner Ray-Ray McCloud, No. 3 receiver Jauan Jennings and rookie Ronnie Bell will take on a bigger load.
“It’s always different,” Shanahan said about being forced to play without Samuel. “That’s what we did last week. We weren’t sure of him throughout the week. So we’ve had contingency plans as it goes. He’s been banged up for a few weeks before that too. So this hopefully gives him a chance to hopefully settle down and come back 100%.”
The Niners are hopeful that they won’t be without McCaffrey as well. He is second in the NFL with 730 yards from scrimmage and nine TDs this season. San Francisco hasn’t lost a regular season game that McCaffrey has started and finished since he was acquired a year ago this week from Carolina.
McCaffrey has averaged 114.1 yards from scrimmage with 19 TDs in 17 games since joining the 49ers. San Francisco won 15 of those games, losing only the first game to Kansas City when McCaffrey came off the bench days after being acquired and on Sunday in Cleveland when he got hurt.
McCaffrey was able to take part in the light practice on Saturday in an encouraging sign.
“It was good to have him out there today,” Shanahan said. “We don’t do anything really full speed except for (7 on 7). But the fact he was able to go out there today and feel good, gives him the chance. We just have to make sure he can go into that game on Monday and feel real good.”
Williams is San Francisco’s best lineman, and the offense could be hampered if he has to be replaced by untested Jaylon Moore protecting Brock Purdy’s blindside. Moore has five career starts in three seasons.
“He’s ready for this moment,” Shanahan said. “He’s been with us for a while. If he’s got step up, which it’s looking that way right now, he’ll be ready.”
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