Posted on: December 12, 2022, 12:09h. 

Last updated on: December 12, 2022, 12:09h.

The San Francisco 49ers are the hottest team in the NFL after winning six games in a row, but they lost wide receiver Debo Samuel to an ankle injury in a victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Deebo Samuel ankle injury San Francisco 49ers Tampa Bay Bucs
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel gets gang-tackled by the Tampa Bay Bucs, which resulted in an ankle injury at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara. (Image: Getty)

The 49ers blew out of the Bucs, 35-7, which ruined a homecoming for Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, who grew up in the Bay Area.

Brady was outgunned by rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who won his first-ever start. Purdy came off the bench last week to lead the 49ers to a victory over the Miami Dolphins after Jimmy Garoppolo fractured his foot. Purdy prevailed in his first start to help extend the 49ers’ winning streak.

The 49ers were struggling at 3-4 before they rattled off six-straight wins and rocketed to the top of the NFC West. The 49ers now have a two-win edge over the Seattle Seahawks (7-6). They’re a massive favorite at -2000 odds to win the division over the Seahawks at +1000.

The 49ers easily covered -3.5 against the Bucs in Week 14. They improved to 8-5 against the point spread this season, thanks to a 5-1 ATS clip during their winning streak.

Despite their recent surge, the 49ers are only +900 odds to win Super Bowl LVII. The 49ers are the fifth-highest team on DraftKings’ NFL futures board. In NFC Championship futures, the 49ers are second co-favorites on the board with the Dallas Cowboys at +300 odds. Both teams are trailing the consensus favorite Philadelphia Eagles at +160 odds to win the NFC title.

Injury Could Sideline Deebo Samuel for Rest of 2022

Samuel got carted off the field at Levi Stadium due to an ankle injury in the second quarter. He went down on a running play and fumbled the ball due to the injury. Even though it was a legal tackle by the Bucs, fans were irked that it nearly crossed the line as a dirty play.

He’s tough as hell and he tried to walk off,” said teammate Nick Bosa. “Just hoping for the best.”

Before his injury, Samuel was targeted five times by Purdy, and caught four passes for 43 yards. He also added four rushed for 21 yards, or 64 total yards from scrimmage.

Samuel caught 54 passes for 612 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games season. He averaged 11.3 yards per catch.

The versatile Samuel is a dual threat on offense and also used as a running back in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. He rushed 41 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 5.6 yards per rush.

Overall this season, Samuel contributed 840 yards from scrimmage and five total touchdowns. He’s second on the 49ers in receiving yards, and third overall in rushing yards.

Samuel was ruled out of the second half against the Bucs with an ankle injury, but X-rays did not reveal a fracture.

“Most likely a high ankle sprain,” said Shanahan after the game.

Samuel will undergo more testing on Monday to determine how much time he will miss. High ankle sprains could keep wide receivers out for four to six weeks, but the total recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. Since it’s so close to the postseason, the 49ers could sit Samuel the rest of the regular season to preserve his health for the playoffs.

On Deck: Seahawks on TNF

The 49ers have a quick turnaround in Week 15 with a Thursday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks. Luckily for the 49ers, it’s a short flight from San Francisco to Seattle.

The Seahawks defeated the 49ers, 27-7, in Week 2. Early in that game, starting quarterback Trey Lance broke his ankle, and Garoppolo came off the bench as the backup to replace him. The 49ers want revenge and a victory would lock up a NFC West division title and a home game in the opening round of the playoffs.

If the season ended today, the 49ers would earn the #3 seed in the NFC Playoffs behind the #1-seeded Philadelphia Eagles (12-1) and 2-seeded Minnesota Vikings (10-3)

Aside from the Seahawks on Thursday, the 49ers also have one more road game. They visit the Las Vegas Raiders (5-8) on New Year’s Day in Week 17. They play two more home games including the Washington Commanders (7-5-1) on Christmas Eve in Week 16, and the Arizona Cardinals (4-8) in the final game of the season in Week 18.





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