Just when the 49ers were beginning to get healthy on offense, they lost two of their best ball carriers.
Wide receiver/end-around specialist Deebo Samuel has a hamstring strain and will miss at least the next two games, according to head coach Kyle Shahanan. And running back Jeff Wilson Jr. has a high-ankle sprain and will spend roughly the next month on Injured Reserve.
Samuel injured his hamstring Sunday during the 49ers 33-6 win over the New England Patriots. Before he left the game, he had three runs, five catches and 72 yards from scrimmage.
“Deebo is a huge part of our offense,” Shanahan said Monday. “When you have the threat of someone who can hurt you blocking, catching or running, that’s always an issue for defenses. I’ve always believed the mentality of a receiver group can really add to the mentality of your offense. I always feel running backs and offensive linemen don’t have a choice -- they have to be physical all the time. And the receivers do have a choice. The physicality our receivers bring to the game, starting with Deebo, really helps our offense. We’ll miss him when he’s out.”
And they’ll miss Wilson, who was the most angry, physical, violent, aggressive player on the field Sunday afternoon. He rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns.
“He was unbelievable,” Shanahan said. “ You look at the second play of the game, it’s a very little play. Their backer hit Jeff solid for a zero-yard gain. Just watch how hard Jeff tries to get two more yards. What he does to get two more yards on the second play is why Jimmy is allowed to scramble just a yard past the first down on the third play, which leads to the whole drive. You can see on the second play how hard Jeff is fighting. And then watch every single play of him. Every time he gets hit, it looks like the goalline is right in front of him and he’s doing everything he can to cross that. I was very happy for him and how hard he played. It was extremely unfortunate that he got hurt. At least he’ll be able to come back.”
While Wilson is out, the 49ers running backs will be JaMycal Hasty, Jerick McKinnon and possibly Tevin Coleman.
“I’d be surprised if (Coleman) gets out there fully for Wednesday’s practice,” Shanahan said. “I think that will be an end-of-the-week decision.”