This week the San Francisco 49ers will face the New Orleans Saints. Ahead of the game, after Friday’s practice, the 49ers listed wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, as questionable with a hamstring injury. Samuel’s hamstring injury is not new, as the player has had a history of injuries there throughout his career. This particular injury occurred in Mexico when the 49ers faced the Arizona Cardinals and won, 38-10. With the 49ers listing Deebo Samuel as questionable against the New Orleans Saints, how will the team go on with or without him?
Deebo Samuel as Questionable: This Season’s Stats
With the 49ers listing Deebo Samuel as questionable, there is still a chance he can play. While Samuel may not be putting up the same numbers as the 2021 season, he is also covered much more tightly by the opposing team’s defenses. Samuel has also missed one game this season, against the Los Angeles Rams, but the team still pulled off the win.
This season, Samuel has had a total of 41 receptions for 468 yards, and two touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. Of the 41 receptions, 17 of them have been first downs, which keep the offense on the field longer, and puts the team in a better position to score.
As many know, Samuel has called himself a wideback, for his ability to rush the ball as well. This season, Samuel has had a total of 31 rushing attempts for 202 yards and two touchdowns. The team having Samuel rush the ball has been more difficult, with opposing teams expecting it, but it is still making a large impact on the offense. With San Francisco listing Deebo Samuel as questionable, if he cannot play it will definitely be harder for the team.
Deebo Samuel as Questionable: Other 49ers Receivers
Luckily for the 49ers, the team is put at an advantage with a number of strong offensive weapons that can receive. Between wide receivers, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings, the team has a solid wide receiver core. There are also two other key players who can receive such as tight end George Kittle, running back Christian McCaffrey, and even fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
Without Samuel, the 49ers have had a total of 1,985 receiving yards, according to ESPN. It is also Aiyuk who is currently leading the team in receiving yards as well, with Samuel in second. This season, the 49ers have averaged 235.5 receiving yards per game, according to ESPN. Without Samuel, this will not be as easily done. Fortunately for the team, although they listed Deebo Samuel as questionable, there is enough talent in San Francisco to get through.
Deebo Samuel as Questionable: Should the 49ers Play Him?
The best answer to this question is yes if Samuel is cleared to go, they should play him. But it is important to talk about why he may not play, and if the 49ers will be okay without Samuel.
The New Orleans Saints currently are sitting at a 4-7 record. While they have a weaker offense, they do have a decent defense. According to ESPN, the Saints’ defense allows the opposing offense an average of 195.2 yards per game. This is not bad at all, and it would definitely be helpful if the team had Samuel. The Saints also allow an average of 132.1 rushing yards per game. While the 49ers have a number of offensive weapons, this Saints’ defense will definitely make it a lot harder for San Francisco.
The 49ers have recently faced difficulty scoring once in the Red Zone. This leaves the team having to settle for three points as opposed to seven. Last week against the Arizona Cardinals, the team appeared to get much better at scoring from the Red Zone. This season, the Saints have allowed 13 receiving and 11 rushing touchdowns. While this does not imply all were from the Red Zone, this can help the 49ers. While the 49ers should play Samuel if he is okay, they still should be fine without him, just not the best they can be.
The bright side for the team if Samuel is inactive, he should be a full go the following week against the Miami Dolphins. While no team should ever be doubted, the Dolphins on paper are a much tougher opponent.
Deebo Samuel as Questionable: The 49ers Defense
The 49ers listing Deebo Samuel as questionable has raised offensive concerns, the fans should be comforted knowing the defense can still help put this team in a position to win. The 49ers have gone three straight games not allowing their opponents to score in the second half of the game. According to ESPN, between three quarterbacks, the Saints have thrown 12 interceptions. Seven of those interceptions have come from Andy Dalton, who has been named the starter. If the defense can put continuous pressure on Dalton, the 49ers should be okay despite listing Deebo Samuel as Questionable.
In other 49ers players’ injury updates, Defensive Tackle Arik Armstead will be out this week, but back to practicing which is great news. With even better news, defensive end Samson Ebukam will finally be back for the 49ers after missing many weeks. The only other player on the injury report was Deebo Samuel as questionable. This is great news for the team heading into their game against the New Orleans Saints.
For More NFL and NCAA Content:
Check out my most recent NFL Underestimated Player Spotlight. Read here for which players to watch in the final 2022 Penn State home game. Also, check out which Rutgers players to watch for ahead of their final game this weekend.