Deebo expected to return in ‘three-ish' weeks, Shanahan says


The 49ers continued to receive good news regarding Deebo Samuel. 

After the All-Pro wide receiver was carted off the field in San Francisco's 35-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on Sunday, the team's initial belief was that Samuel avoided a season-ending injury and suffered a high ankle sprain, which likely would have sidelined him until the first round of the playoffs.

In speaking to reporters on a conference call Monday, Shanahan revealed that further tests showed MCL and ankle sprains for Samuel, who now has a chance to return before the end of the regular season. 

In speaking with reporters Tuesday, Shanahan provided an initial timeline for Samuel's return. 

"There's four weeks left in the season, I think they told me three-ish is their expectation, right in that area," Shanahan said. 

Samuel's initial reaction and emotional departure from the field made the injury appear much worse than it actually was. Shanahan didn't see the wide receiver's reaction, but understood why it was an emotional moment for Samuel. 

"I didn't see exactly how he got bent, I was too flustered and talking to the ref and the situation and there were so many people around him, I didn't get a chance to see him crying like that," Shanahan added. "I saw it when I got home, the highlights on SportsCenter and stuff and how scary it was, how worried he was and I was able to talk to him after that and really understand where he was in that moment.

"A lot of guys are like that and some guys handle it differently. I can't imagine being in that situation and everyone watching you, you kind of want to hide because whether you cry, whether you're mad, whatever it is, I feel like the emotions are always equal with all those guys. What they put into it and when that stuff happens you never know if you're done for the week, the game, the year or your career. So lots of emotions go through that for those guys because it's not just our season, it's the livelihood of those players."

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San Francisco will be without one of its top weapons on offense for the next "three-ish" weeks as it looks to wrap up an NFC West division title and prepare for another deep playoff run. 

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