Deebo Samuel

How Deebo can make NFL history with just 4 rushing yards vs. Rams

Samuel is set to become only the second player in NFL history to reach 4,000 receiving yards and 1,000 rushing yards in the first five seasons of a career

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Deebo Samuel is known across the NFL for his versatile ability to run with the ball in addition to catching it, with the 49ers wide receiver even coining his own apt moniker of "wide back."

And this Sunday in San Francisco's regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, Samuel has the opportunity to accomplish something only one other dual-threat wideout has done before if he can rush for just a handful of yards.

Samuel, currently in his fifth pro season, has tallied 4,101 receiving yards and 996 rushing yards since the 49ers selected him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. With 4 more rushing yards in Week 18 against the Rams at Levi's Stadium, Samuel would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Charley Taylor (Washington, 1964-1968) as the only players ever to reach 4,000 receiving yards and 1,000 rushing yards within their first five seasons.

The star wide receiver's ability to run the ball has been evident since his first season. When the 49ers went to Super Bowl LIV during Samuel's rookie year, his 53 rushing yards against the Kansas City Chiefs were -- and still are -- the most by a receiver in Super Bowl history.

Samuel's All-Pro campaign in 2021 was when coach Kyle Shanahan truly began to take advantage of his rushing abilities, lining the receiver up at running back on roughly 11 percent of the team's offensive snaps. Samuel set the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns by a wideout that season, and his 49ers contract extension the following summer even included rushing incentives.

In the 2023 NFL regular-season finale, Samuel again will have a shot at etching his name in the NFL record books thanks to his versatility. And even though the 49ers already have locked up the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed, complete with home-field advantage throughout the postseason and a first-round bye, the Faithful can expect to see Samuel on the field come Sunday -- with a shot at history.

"I feel like we'll play [in Week 18] for a good bit, keep the groove going and not take too much time off," Samuel told Kay Adams during Tuesday's episode of the "Up & Adams" show. "... It ain't no negotiation. Once Coach says one thing, it's all hands on deck."

This season, Samuel has 871 receiving yards to go with 214 rushing yards on 36 carries. And as San Francisco looks to earn the franchise's sixth Super Bowl victory in the coming weeks, they'll certainly rely plenty on one Samuel's duality.

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