San Francisco 49ers running back Deebo Samuel has not played since suffering an ankle and knee injury back in Week 14 against the Buccaneers. Despite practicing for the first time last week, head coach Kyle Shanahan hopes Samuel will see action before the NFL playoffs begin. The 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals in the regular season finale on Sunday, January 8 at 4:25 p.m. ET.
Deebo Samuel injury updates
Friday, Jan. 6 PM update - Samuel was removed from the final injury report and is good to go for Sunday.
Friday, January 6 update — 49ers GM John Lynch said in a regular radio interview show that he expects Samuel to play in Sunday’s regular season finale.
Thursday, January 5 — Samuel remained a full participant on Thursday and is on track to play on Sunday against the Cardinals as the team tunes up for the playoffs.
Wednesday, January 4 — Samuel logged a full practice Wednesday, which is a great sign for his availability and health ahead of what the 49ers hope will be a title run. Samuel might not play much in Week 18 to avoid a freak injury but he should be more than ready for the playoffs.
Monday, January 2 — Head coach Kyle Shanahan noted that Deebo Samuel is expected to practice this week.
Fantasy football advice
Despite clinching the NFC East and assuring a postseason appearance, the 49ers still have plenty to play for in Week 18. With a 12-4 record, San Francisco is just one game behind the 13-3 Philadelphia Eagles, who have yet to clinch the top seed in the NFC and the lone bye in the first round of the postseason. The 49ers need some help in order to jump the Eagles for the No. 1 seed, but it first means they have to take care of business with a win over the Cardinals.
San Francisco is currently a 14-point favorite over the Cardinals in Week 18, per DraftKings Sportsbook. The 49ers easily beat Arizona in their first meeting this season, 38-10, with Samuel finishing with 94 total yards and a touchdown. Arizona will likely be heavily depleted. Having Samuel back in the fold could make the 49ers' job easier in not only securing the win but also covering the spread.
Keeping players healthy ahead of a postseason run will be paramount for San Francisco, however. So even if Samuel returns to the field, it could be only for a handful of offensive series, thus limiting his ceiling in regards to DFS.