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Deebo Samuel returns to practice ahead of Week 1 tilt vs. Bears

We break down news that Deebo Samuel has a knee contusion. What it means for Week 1 and beyond.

INGLEWOOD, CA - JANUARY 30: Deebo Samuel #19 of the 49ers during the NFC Conference Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams on January 30, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. Photo by Icon Sportswire

September 7th update: Deebo was not listed on the team’s first official practice report and appears to be on track to play on Sunday.

September 5th update: Deebo has returned to practice on Monday, per Matt Barrows. This is a great sign for his likely availability vs. the Bears.

The San Francisco 49ers locked in a core piece of their future after agreeing to a three-year contract extension with wide receiver Deebo Samuel in the offseason. Samuel will once again play a pivotal role in Kyle Shanahan’s offense this season, but his health already is in question. Samuel has missed practice over the past week in what was revealed to be a knee contusion, specifically a bruise behind the knee. Samuel suffered the injury in the preseason against the Houston Texans, and while it is not considered serious his status for Week 1 still remains uncertain.

Fantasy football implications

The limited information received on Samuel’s injury is still promising if it plays out to fruition. While Samuel has not practiced all week since suffering the injury against the Texans, if he can log in at least one practice by Friday then the likelihood of him suiting up against the Chicago Bears appears likely. Perhaps Shanahan and staff are keeping Samuel on the sidelines out of precaution, but his attendance in practice this week will be telling for Sunday.

If Samuel were to miss Week 1 by chance, then expect Brandon Aiyuk to vault into WR1 territory for San Francisco. In regards to Samuel’s snaps specifically, Danny Gray and Ray-Ray McCloud III are next up on the depth chart and could see additional targets from Trey Lance. Gray showed promise in the 49ers' preseason opener after finishing with 99 receiving yards and catching a touchdown from Lance in the contest.