After a record-setting performance in the 49ers' 31-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams, Deebo Samuel has been named the Week 10 NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
The 49ers receiver caught all five of his targets for 97 yards and a touchdown, and carried the ball five times for 36 yards and another score on the ground. It was Samuel’s first game with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game.
Samuel joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1990, 1992 and 1994) as the only 49ers wide receivers to earn the award multiple times in a single season. Samuel is the first 49ers player to receive the honor twice in one season since Frank Gore in 2009.
Kyle Shanahan shared that the 49ers front office saw potential in the South Carolina product as a ball carrier but wasn’t sure how good he would become. The head coach has been impressed with Samuel’s physicality on the field.
“You’ve got an idea when you draft people, but we didn't know how good he was at that stuff,” Shanahan said Monday night. "Deebo, you didn't totally know. But you got to see him run screens and how physically he was.
“It was how he finished screens that we liked so much. He really brought it to people when there was nowhere to go and just having him, you see what he's good at and you try to put players in position to help them.”
According to Pro Football Focus Samuel currently leads all qualifying receivers in the following categories:
- Receiving yards per route run: 3.46
- Yards after catch: 518
- YAC/reception: 9.6
- Missed tackles forced: 13 (tied for first with Tampa Bay Buccaneers Chris Godwin)
After only nine games, Samuel’s 979 yards receiving and five receiving touchdowns are career highs. As a rookie, he registered 57 catches on 81 targets for 802 yards and three touchdowns, and 14 carries for 159 yards and three additional scores on the ground.
Samuel joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Sterling Sharpe (three-time winner) as the only former South Carolina players to earn multiple Offensive Player of the Week awards, and is the first to win the award twice in one season.
After battling injuries last season, Samuel came into training camp leaner and in the best shape of his career. The extra work has paid off for the receiver who is on pace for nearly a 2,000-yard season.