There might be skepticism about who will be under center for the 49ers when the 2021 NFL season kicks off in September, but there is no doubt that Deebo Samuel will be ready to go.
The third-year wide receiver, who missed the better part of 10 games in 2020, shared with NBC Sports Bay Area that he is fully healthy, as the lingering hamstring issue he dealt with most of the season in his rearview mirror.
"Yes ma'am," Samuel said when asked if he currently is feeling 100 percent healthy.
Samuel has spent time during the offseason in Miami, Fla., training with Pete Bommarito, who coached Wes Welker during his time as a player in the league. The young 49ers receiver is not only working on refining his skill set, but also is preparing in order to prevent what happened in 2020 from occurring again.
“I have to get back into the top-tier shape that I need to be in, not only for me, but for the team,” Samuel said. “For how much they use me in the offense, I got to get back into tip-top shape, making sure I don’t come back and get injured or anything.
“I want to hit the ground running without any setbacks”
During the 2020 offseason, Samuel sustained a Jones fracture in his foot and was never able to get back to full strength throughout the season. Overcompensation from the foot injury led to the hamstring strain that he couldn’t shake.
It was a disappointing year for the South Carolina product, whose NFL career got off to a quick start in 2019. Samuel finished his rookie season as Jimmy Garoppolo’s top wideout target, appearing in 15 regular-season games -- 11 as a starter. He caught 57 of his 81 targets for 802 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for an additional three scores.
Samuel vows not to let that happen again, knowing how he comes into camp will set into motion how the season could unfold. Getting into the best shape possible is a priority in order to maintain his bruising ways on the field.
The wideout has been training with Bommarito in order to physically and mentally dominate his opponent on the field.
“I’ve been working on my first couple of steps,” Samuel said. “Just the get off part of routes to put the fear in defenders like I’m going to run by them, or things like that. Just staying slim and just the simple stuff after that.”