Deebo Samuel injured his shoulder on the 49ers’ third drive of Sunday’s game in Cleveland and will not return, the team confirmed after halftime.
The 49ers’ do-it-all receiver went into the locker room late in the first quarter after spending a few minutes in the injury tent on the San Francisco sideline. He did not emerge until after halftime, when he was wearing a hoodie and beanie cap, rather than his pads and uniform.
It was not immediately clear how Samuel suffered the injury. He had two carries for 11 yards and was targeted once by Brock Purdy.
Later in the game, Christian McCaffrey missed the 49ers’ second possession of the third quarter with an oblique injury. He returned briefly on the next drive facing a 13-10 deficit, running for six yards on a play negated by penalty, but immediately went back to the sideline and eventually to the locker room at the end of the quarter. He is questionable to return.
The Niners’ offense has struggled since Samuel’s injury: San Francisco drove 84 yards for a touchdown on its first possession, then only picked up a first down on two of their next eight possessions, excluding a kneel-down to end the first half. Jordan Mason’s touchdown on the ninth drive after Samuel’s injury came after Deommodore Lenoir intercepted a pass and returned it to the Cleveland 8-yard line.
Samuel dealt with a rib injury earlier in the season, heading into the 49ers’ game two weeks ago against the Cardinals. He did play against Arizona, though he only touched the ball three times — all runs — for six yards.
Ray-Ray McCloud and Jauan Jennings saw more action on the field in Samuel’s absence, while Jordan Mason and Elijah Mitchell stepped in for McCaffrey. Jaylon Moore took two snaps in left tackle Trent Williams’ place during his brief absence from the game when he hurt his ankle on the same drive as Samuel’s injury.
This is a developing story — we’ll update when more information is available.