49ers

49ers' Deebo Samuel reveals how he broke foot, says he's 'doing well'

49ers' Deebo Samuel reveals how he broke foot, says he's 'doing well'

The 49ers got some bad news last week when wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones fracture in his foot during a players-only workout in Tennessee.

The second-year receiver is optimistic he can return in 10 weeks, which would put him on track for the 49ers' Week 1 game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Samuel's timetable for recovery is 12 to 16 weeks, and Jones fractures are notoriously tricky with setbacks occurring often.

Samuel went on Instagram Live on Wednesday to give an update on his foot and revealed how the injury occurred.

Big things were expected of the South Carolina product in 2020. Samuel hit his stride toward the back half of his rookie season and was a key part of the 49ers' offensive game plan in Super Bowl LIV, catching five passes for 39 yards and setting a Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a receiver with 53.

Samuel led all NFL wide receivers in missed tackles forced with 25 in 2019. After Emmanuel Sanders left for the New Orleans Saints in free agency, Samuel was poised to take over as the 49ers' No. 1 receiver and many believed he would take a leap toward stardom in 2020. Former NFL receiver Chad Johnson heaped praise on Samuel and recently retired left tackle Joe Staley believes he could become the best receiver in the NFL.

"Basically, he’s one of the most talented rookies I’ve ever seen,” Staley told Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee.  “I was just telling him how important this offseason is and he can be the greatest receiver in the NFL. Just to work really hard this offseason and use this as motivation.”

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Samuel's versatility and tackle-breaking ability make him the perfect weapon for coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. The injury opens the door for Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Hurd, Jauan Jennings and Dante Pettis to step up and fill Samuel's void. Star tight end George Kittle will continue to be the No. 1 option in the 49ers' passing game, but quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will need one or two of the young receivers to rise to the occasion in order for the offense to be as efficient and balanced as it was in 2019.

How Samuel recovers will go a long way in determining the success of the 49ers' quest to get back to the Super Bowl. There's no doubt they want Samuel back as soon as possible, but the prudent thing is to be cautious and make sure he doesn't take the field until he's absolutely 100 percent healed.

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Joe Staley shows off impressive weight loss since 49ers retirement

Joe Staley shows off impressive weight loss since 49ers retirement

Joe Staley's work ethic never was in question during his decade-plus career as the 49ers' starting left tackle, and it appears that determination has continued into retirement.

Staley told ESPN's Emily Caplan in early July that he already has lost 50 pounds since retiring from the NFL in April, and a picture shared on Twitter by Sports Illustrated's Grant Cohn definitely shows the former offensive lineman's body transformation.

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"As an offensive lineman, you're always known as this big, humongous, unathletic blob," Staley said to ESPN. "Offensive linemen get casted in a movie, and they're always 500 pounds. Then you get the opportunity to be healthy again, and all of the effort you used to put into football, you put into that. It gives you a focus once you retire. It's a little bit vain, but I'm starting to see abs that I've always wanted. And it's kind of exciting."

Offensive lineman often must eat an incredible amount of food to maintain the 300-pound frames typically seen across NFL rosters.

Staley seems to be enjoying his retirement.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Trent Williams expects Jerick McKinnon 'breakout' 2020 season

49ers' Trent Williams expects Jerick McKinnon 'breakout' 2020 season

Trent Willams has seen more of what Jerick McKinnon can do on the football field than just about anyone over the last two years.

And when the 49ers’ new left tackle was asked which teammate he was most eager to watch on the field, McKinnon was at the top of the list.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Jet,” Williams told the Bay Area media on a video call. “After two years, the way he’s looked in the offseason, I just can’t fathom him not being a breakout player.”

The 49ers were expecting so much from McKinnon after they signed him on the first day of free agency in 2018, coach Kyle Shanahan had planned to unveil an offense in the regular season that would focus heavily on the running back’s ability as a route-runner and pass-catcher.

But McKinnon sustained a torn ACL one week before the regular-season opener. When the graft from that surgery did not fill in properly, McKinnon lost a second consecutive season. McKinnon accepted a greatly reduced salary this year to remain with the 49ers.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowl player, saw plenty of McKinnon’s skills during the offseason as he, McKinnon and Deebo Samuel were among those who worked out with star running back Adrian Peterson.

Samuel described those training sessions as the “one of the hardest workouts I’ve been doing since I’ve been playing football.”

McKinnon has been cleared to take part in 49ers practices, which begin Aug. 15. The 49ers’ first padded practice is scheduled for Aug. 17.

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Thrived through the worst of it

A post shared by Jet Mckinnon The Mayor (@jetmckinnon1) on

McKinnon figures to be a big part of the 49ers’ offense as a third-down back. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo recently said he is looking forward to seeing McKinnon take what he’s showing in workouts onto the field during the regular season.

“Even just throwing routes on air this offseason, he runs them differently than most running backs and he has a feel that's like a receiver, but he feels space like a quarterback,” Garoppolo said. “It's very unique and I'm excited to get him back, man. It's been a while.”

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Williams ticked off other areas of the 49ers that have him excited, too. He spoke about tight end George Kittle and every level of the defense, including the “freakish” defensive line.

“I just want to get this team to a game,” said Williams, whom the 49ers acquired in an April trade with Washington. “It feels like college again, when we had three of the top four picks in the draft. I haven’t had this feeling since then.”

In 2013, Williams was one of three Oklahoma players to be chosen in the top four of the NFL draft. He went No. 4 to Washington, following quarterback Sam Bradford (No. 1 to the St. Louis Rams) and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (No. 3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).