Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area says the 49ers seem to be expecting top wideout Deebo Samuel, who is recovering from surgery to correct the Jones fracture in his left foot, to miss the first six weeks of the 2020 season. Indeed, the club recently signed both Tavon Austin and JJ Nelson to fill out its WR depth chart.
But Samuel’s timetable may not be quite that long. Maiocco acknowledges that workout videos posted by the talented second-year pass catcher suggest he could return sooner, and head coach Kyle Shanahan is still hoping for a Week 1 return.
“Deebo’s going to do everything he can to be in shape, but it’s hard to be in football shape until you can play football,” Shanahan said (via Keiana Martin of the team’s official website). “So, how many practices do we get him in here before Arizona? That’s going to all go into play. I’m hoping for Week 1, but not sure yet. It’s still too early.”
Now for a quick roundup of several more West division items:
- In addition to the Austin and Nelson signings, the 49ers recently took a flier on TE Jordan Reed. As Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets, Reed’s one-year pact with San Francisco includes a $1.05MM base salary with up to $750K in playing time incentives.
- Chiefs CB Alex Brown suffered a torn ACL in Friday’s practice, as Brown himself noted on Instagram (via Nate Taylor of The Athletic on Twitter). Brown, a 2019 UDFA, spent time with the 49ers, Eagles, and Jets last summer before signing with KC’s practice squad. He got called up to the active roster in December and served as a special teams contributor down the stretch of the regular season and throughout the club’s Super Bowl run.
- Broncos TE Austin Fort is having an arthroscopic procedure on his knee and will miss some time, as Mike Klis of 9News.com tweets. It’s more tough luck for Fort, a 2019 UDFA who was impressing in training camp for Denver last summer before sustaining a season-ending ACL tear.