SANTA CLARA — The 49ers had to reach into their wide receiver depth in Week 3, and they will have to do the same thing Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium.
Jauan Jennings, the 49ers’ No. 3 receiver, is not expected to play. And Deebo Samuel is listed as questionable with ribs and knee soreness.
“I feel pretty good," Samuel said after going through limited practice on Friday afternoon. "We'll just see how I continue to progress for the next couple of days, and then we'll just see what happens."
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Samuel said he landed on his left knee at the end of a 30-yard gain on a third-and-15 play early in the second quarter. He said it did not feel too bad at the time, but the next day it became inflamed and more sore than the ribs injury he sustained in the fourth quarter.
The 49ers plan to elevate at least one of their veteran receivers — Chris Conley and/or Willie Snead — from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.
Rookie Ronnie Bell will undoubtedly take on a more significant role with Jennings sidelined and Samuel’s status in question.
Samuel, elected as one of the team captains before the start of the regular season, said he takes pride in helping get the younger receivers in a position to contribute.
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Last week, the 49ers had to compensate for the absence of Brandon Aiyuk, who sat out with a shoulder injury. Bell stepped up with his first career touchdown reception.
“Like last week, Brandon was down, so it was good to see Ronnie Bell and Ray-Ray (McCloud) be there to help the team as much as possible,” Samuel said. “We want B.A. to be out there, but it’s kind of a good thing because at the end of the day, injuries happen, and there needs to be that next-man-up mentality.”
Samuel said he and Aiyuk were hard on Bell, a seventh-round draft pick, to impress upon him the importance of being able to block.
“It was crazy because we used to pick on him a lot because he wouldn’t really stick his head in there a good bit,” Samuel said of Bell. “We came down hard on him, me and B.A., telling him what it takes to be in this offense, as far as blocking and stuff.
“You can see it came a long way. You can see him putting pads on people.”
The 49ers are two-touchdown favorites against the Cardinals on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, but Samuel said nobody is looking forward to their Week 5 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
Arizona pulled off the biggest upset of the NFL through three weeks with a 28-16 victory over the Cowboys.
“If you turn the tape on and watch these guys, they could easily be 3-0, so we can’t take these guys for granted,” Samuel said of the Cardinals. “They’re playing hard. They’re playing really good ball right now.”