SANTA CLARA -- If Brandon Aiyuk’s problems this season began in practice, that is also where Deebo Samuel got an indication this week that things are going to change.
Aiyuk, coming off a strong rookie season with the 49ers, got off to a slow start this season. He has just eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown through five games.
The bye week gave Aiyuk an opportunity to hit the reset button. And Samuel liked what he saw from his teammate.
“I just feel like he just has to do exactly what he did all this week in practice — just getting back to himself, getting his confidence back and just going out there and making plays,” Samuel said on Friday.
“He had a great week of practice, and we’re very proud of how he came out there this week and showcased who he really is and who we know him to be.”
The 49ers (2-3) return to action on Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts at Levi’s Stadium.
Aiyuk has to get going for the 49ers, who have not found a reliable pass-catcher beside Samuel, who leads the team with 31 receptions for 548 yards and three touchdowns.
Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have both stated how important it is for Aiyuk to become more productive.
With Samuel starting to get a lot of attention, it could open some opportunities for the receiver on the other side. Aiyuk should have chances to turn his season around.
“We just know what Brandon is capable of, and the type of player he actually is, and it showed this week and hopefully it carries over to Sunday,” Samuel said.
“It didn’t click at first, but now as time went by and him talking to Kyle and John and all the other guys, knowing what type of player he is and telling him to go out there and be yourself and this week in practice, it showed up.”