by Angel Maldonado
Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot while working out with teammates earlier this week. The injury, confirmed by Samuel himself, should not keep him off the field for too long.
If his recovery does indeed take ten weeks, it would place Samuel in a good spot to start Week 1. However, this isn’t the type of injury you want to rush back from. Trent Taylor, another member of the 49ers wide receiver core, suffered the same injury last year. After attempting to comeback, Taylor had to be placed on IR for the season after it became evident the first surgery was unsuccessful and he would require a second surgery (at which point his foot became infected).
Should Samuel miss any games, your first instinct may be to assume Brandon Aiyuk will be the main beneficiary. However, with Covid-19 limiting how much Aiyuk could prepare for his first season(which can be daunting enough even without a global pandemic), it may be Jalen Hurd who benefits the most.
In addition to his contributions through the air (802 yards and 3 touchdowns), Samuel also pitched in 14 carries for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hurd’s ability to line up inside, outside, or in the backfield has been well documented and lauded by Kyle Shanahan in the past and may serve him well in the case of a Samuel absence.
Keep in mind: there’s no reason for the 49ers to rush Samuel back (especially since they face Washington Week 1). That being said, it would be surprising if he missed more than two games because of this injury, if any at all. Most dynasty owners will know this and will not be looking to sell for cheap. However, if the Samuel owner in your league is spooked by the fact that this same injury took out Trent Taylor for the entirety of 2019, send offers. After almost reaching 1,000 total yards and compiling six touchdowns, Samuel is going to be a solid WR2 for years to come. While he may not reach that full potential in 2020, don’t shy away from him because of this injury. Samuel should still be considered a flex player for 2020 and a BUY in all dynasty league formats.