After putting up a 78-yard, two-touchdown performance, Deebo Samuel left Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter with a groin injury. The wideout noted he was experiencing tightness before laying off of a handoff in scoring position to avoid any further damage.
Following an MRI on Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed the receiver suffered a groin strain and is expected to miss 1-2 weeks.
Samuel is having a dynamic season in San Francisco, appearing in all 11 games and registering 56 catches for 1,006 yards and five touchdowns, becoming the first 49ers wide receiver to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards since Anquan Boldin in 2014. Just as impressive, the receiver has been highly involved in San Francisco's ground game as of late, recording 115 yards on 13 carries (8.9 yards per attempt) over the last three weeks.
He has been key to the offense's recent success and is a significant loss for the 49ers heading into a crucial part of their season to remain relevant in the NFC standings. However, Shanahan and the 49ers believe they have enough pieces to step up and overcome his brief absence.
"He's been a big part of our offense, but I think we're in a spot right now that we can overcome that," Shanahan said. "Trent Sherfield came in yesterday and made a huge play. Brandon Aiyuk's been stepping it up each week and doing better. Jauan Jennings is coming along. I'd love to give Travis Benjamin more opportunities having his speed out there. George Kittle is getting healthier and better each week and the run game has been doing well too."
The 49ers could enter Sunday's game rather thin at the linebacker position. Fred Warner left Sunday's game with a hamstring strain and did not return. Per Shanahan, the All-Pro linebacker will miss San Francisco's Week 13 divisional matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, but the team anticipates his return the following week as the 49ers travel to face the 7-4 Cincinnati Bengals.
It's worth noting Warner hasn't missed a single game throughout his four-year NFL career.
Fellow linebacker Dre Greenlaw exited the game after re-injuring his surgically-repaired groin in the second quarter. Greenlaw missed nine games this season after making a slower than anticipated return following his initial injury in Week 1. Per Shanahan, Greenlaw is "day-to-day" with an aggravation of the groin injury as the team will continue to assess the linebacker throughout the week.
Marcell Harris, who stepped in with injuries to the aforementioned linebackers, left the game briefly to be evaluated for a head injury and was cleared to return. He returned to the facility on Monday after experiencing concussion-like symptoms, placing him back into the protocol.
Trey Sermon could miss significant time with an ankle injury that sidelined him on Sunday. Per Shanahan, the rookie running back is a short-term Injured Reserve candidate given the length of his recovery. With JaMycal Hasty nursing an ankle injury of his own, the 49ers will enter Week 13 with Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Trenton Cannon as their lone healthy ball carriers.
Defensive lineman Kentavius Street left the game in the second quarter with a wrist sprain and his status will be "day-to-day."
Lastly, the 49ers were hopeful Dee Ford would make his return in Week 12 by easing him back into practice after missing three weeks with a neck/back flare up. The 49ers will put him on a similar plan this week and continue to monitor his process in a potential return for Sunday.
Ford was placed on IR in Week 8 after suffering a hit that presented concussion-like symptoms. The symptoms triggered Ford's lingering back issues that have been a nagging issue for the pass rusher. Ford dealt with an intricate back and neck injury that kept him sidelined for all but one game in 2020.
According to the NFL's Injured Reserve rules, once a player's practice window is opened, the team has 21 days to activate him, otherwise he cannot return to the 53-man roster for the rest of the season.