Aiyuk rejoins 49ers' now-healthy playmakers preparing for Bills


The 49ers' offense could be getting healthy at just the right time.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel didn't practice Thursday, but coach Kyle Shanahan shared that Samuel didn't suffer a setback from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the three games prior to last week's win over the Los Angeles Rams. Shanahan expects Samuel to be ready for the team's Monday night showdown with the Buffalo Bills.

Rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk was removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday and will suit up Monday. Week 13 will mark just the fifth time that both young receivers will be on the field at the same time in 2020.

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In a season marred my injuries, pandemic safety protocols and now a relocation, Shanahan is proud of the 49ers' resiliency. He hopes that translates to improved play on the field as important players return from injury.

“It’s been frustrating not just for me, but for everyone in the building, I’m sure the fans too and definitely those guys,” Shanahan said Wednesday in a video conference with reporters. “We’ve got some young guys who I know are only going to get better.” 

Shanahan knows that his players have wanted to be on the field all season, even sometimes too much. The player performance staff has had their hands full trying to rein in their enthusiastic players. The staff's goal is for the returning players to play smart, ensuring they don't re-injure themselves or suffer setbacks in their recovery. 


“We got the right guys and I know they made of the right stuff,” Shanahan said. “They played through stuff, they play hard and it’s just been unfortunate with things. It’s a matter of time, we’ve been hoping all year and we’ve got five left on the season and I’m really glad we’ve got them back.”  

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Quarterback Nick Mullens is excited to have his play-making receivers back on the field, after 49ers running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson who made it through the 23-20 win over the Rams no worse for the wear. 

Mostert, who missed two games after suffering a knee sprain in Week 2, missed another four with an ankle injury following Week 6. Wilson sustained a calf strain in his dominant performance in the 49ers' win over the New England Patriots, and he missed three games.

“Just to have everybody back, it makes this team better,” Mullens said. “To see how much better those guys are, with the ball in space -- the more guys we can get back, it makes us better as an offense. It’s a blessing, and we’re pumped and ready to get out to practice today.”