49ers WR Deebo Samuel to return; Trent Williams ‘real questionable’

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Santa Clara, California. — The San Francisco 49ers will welcome back at least one of their two injured stars Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Niner receiver Dibo Samuelwho has missed most of the past three games with a hairline fracture of the shoulder, has practiced every day this week and is injury-free for Sunday.

And when Samuels returns, the Niners are hoping for that left tackle Trent Williams (right ankle) will also return, although his condition is much weaker. Williams returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday.

“I think he’s really questionable to play,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “If not tomorrow we’ll wait until game time. Today was half speed [and he] Didn’t do much yesterday and we want to know how he feels all the way into it.”

Samuel’s return is much-needed for an offense that averaged over 30 points per game in the first five weeks (all wins) but has dropped to 17 points per game in the past three (all losses).

On 56% of the offensive snaps the Niners played with Samuel on the field, they averaged 6.9 yards per play with the quarterback. Brock Purdy Eight touchdowns and no interceptions for a QBR of 82. Without Samuel, those numbers drop to 5.4 yards per game, 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions for a QBR of 59.

“I think he complements everybody,” the running back said Christian McCaffrey Said “Just putting him on the field, he’s such a threat whenever he has the ball. He makes a play that looks like it’s not going to work. Just having that confidence that he’s there means a lot to all of us.”

For his part, Samuel said he feels refreshed and can sense a boost of energy for the entire team heading into the practice week. He said Thursday that while missing the last three games was tough, he wouldn’t try too hard to get back.

“Anytime you’re not part of the game, it’s kind of tough but I’ve been there before,” Samuel said. “It’s another game, not trying to be crazy, just go out there and do what I do.”

Williams’ status is more ambiguous. He sprained his ankle early in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns but finished that game. He hasn’t played since, though, and Shanahan acknowledged Wednesday that while Williams doesn’t have a high sprain, he’s dealing with more than just a low sprain from a past ankle injury.

Jaylon Moore Has started the past two games in place of Williams and will again Sunday if Williams doesn’t show continued improvement after a few light practices and the long flight to Jacksonville.

Like Samuel, Williams’ return will be a boon to the offense, especially against the run, where the Niners have struggled to an average of 95.3 yards per game after posting 156.4 rushing yards per game over the past three games (19th in the NFL). First five weeks (3rd).

Without Williams, San Francisco’s ability to run left has suffered a noticeable decline. The Niners averaged just 3.9 yards per carry (24th) over the last three games after ranking third in the league with 6.4 yards per attempt through the first five weeks.

Needless to say, the 5-3 Niners will be more than happy to welcome back both Williams and Samuel as they try to end their three-game losing skid.

“Obviously, you get the ball in DeBo’s hands and he can do some crazy things and help our team out big time,” Purdy said. “Having DeBo back is going to be huge. Like Trent, it’s going to be great to have his experience as a leader and help with everything; the running game, the passing game, Trent is the best of the best. So, to get those two back and give a spark and bring that energy to our offense. , that’s huge.”

Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave He is still listed as questionable after his knee “acted up” in Thursday’s practice, according to Shanahan. guard Aaron Banks (toe) and defensive end Drake Jackson (knees) are out.

To the Jaguars, receivers Jay Jones Will miss fourth straight game with right knee injury. Head coach Doug Pederson said Friday morning that it was going to be a long shot for Jones to play against the 49ers, and the team ruled him out in the afternoon.

Jones first hurt his right knee in a Week 2 loss to Kansas City. He missed the next two games and returned in October against Buffalo. 8 but left that game after suffering a knee injury and has not played since.

ESPN’s Michael DiRocco contributed to this report.

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