The San Francisco 49ers had a few familiar faces back at the SAP Performance Facility for Thursday afternoon's practice. Head coach Kyle Shanahan hinted at the possibility of a return by Deebo Samuel (ankle, knee) depending on the progress of his rehab work earlier in the week, and things checked out for the wideout to rejoin his teammates. Samuel was injured in the team's Week 14 contest versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being rolled up on during a rushing attempt. No. 19 suffered an MCL sprain and ankle injury, and per Shanahan, the receiver is on track to return to game action during the regular season.
"Every time these guys come back, it's been great," run game coordinator and offensive line coach Chris Foerster said when asked about Samuel's return to practice. "We all know what Deebo can do... Deebo is a real pleasure when the time comes for him to play again, so it's great to have him back."
In addition to Samuel, defensive linemen Javon Kinlaw (knee) and Nick Bosa (illness) and punter Mitch Wishnowsky (illness) also returned to practice after sitting out on Wednesday. Kinlaw was held out yesterday as part of the plan to get him fully up to speed after missing out on a majority of the season with a setback to his previous knee injury. Tackle Trent Williams, who had a veteran rest day on Wednesday, was also back with his position group as expected.
Brock Purdy Prepares to Make His Fourth-Career Start
The 49ers rookie quarterback remains unbeaten after making three-straight starts (four total appearances) and has made quite a statement over the past month. Week 17 will mark Purdy's fourth start, and he enters the game as the only quarterback in franchise history to win all three of his first three starts. League wide, San Francisco's QB1 is one of just two quarterbacks since 1950 (Dan Marino is the other) to throw multiple touchdown passes and record 100+ passer ratings in each of their first three career starts.
"I think it's pretty cool. I'm not big on stats and all that kind of stuff, but when it's Dan Marino, that's pretty cool," Purdy said. "My dad grew up a Miami Dolphins fan, and we were all Miami Dolphins fans growing up. I wear 13 because of Dan Marino, so to have that kind of stat is pretty cool."
Purdy's scouting report of the Las Vegas Raiders is similar to that of his teammates, and he's detailed some of the nuances of the defense he will be facing come Sunday.
"Maxx Crosby is really good on the edge " Purdy said. "Whenever you have a player like that that you have to focus on, they can do a lot of different things that you can sometimes slip up on and not be ready for in terms of what they do with their secondary and their backers. I think they're talented across the board."