Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey Injured in 49ers' Loss to Browns
The San Francisco 49ers lost to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, their first game loss on the pitch. They are still awaiting word on the extent of their injuries.
In the 19-17 defeat, wide receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Christian McCaffrey sustained oblique/rib and shoulder injuries, respectively. Upon leaving the game, neither player was able to return due to their severe injuries.
Coach Kyle Shanahan did not know the full degree of either player's injury after the game, but more testing would be performed on Monday.
"We're not sure yet," Shanahan remarked.
After McCaffrey was declared out of the game in the fourth quarter due to an unspecified injury, Shanahan added the rib classification to his status. After leaving the game early in the third quarter, McCaffrey came back for one play—a 6-yard run with less than three minutes remaining—before making his way to the sideline and then the locker room. With 10:58 left in the game, the Niners ruled out his comeback.
Although the exact manner and play of Samuel's injuries were not immediately apparent, it happened in the first quarter. With 3:14 remaining in the first quarter, his injury was initially revealed along with that of left tackle Trent Williams. Williams left the game after rolling up his right ankle, but he came back a few offensive plays later. Before spending the remainder of the first half in the locker room, Samuel spent around ten minutes in the blue medical tent during the second quarter. Prior to the injury, he had two carries for 11 yards.
After one carry that was ruled back due to a holding penalty, McCaffrey left the game. He gained 43 yards on 11 carries and 9 yards and a score on three receptions.
Following McCaffrey's score on the first drive, the Niners' offence found it difficult to settle into a rhythm since they were without two of their most dynamic playmakers. Samuel was replaced by Ray-Ray McCloud and Jauan Jennings, and McCaffrey was replaced by Jordan Mason and Elijah Mitchell. Three catches for thirty yards were shared by McCloud and Jennings, while McCloud also added two carries for twenty-three yards. Together, Mason and Mitchell gained 24 yards on seven attempts; however, Mason gained 27 yards on five of those carries, including a score that gave San Francisco a late lead.
Shanahan stated, "It's more about just getting all the guys ready for it." "You've got a game plan that's got enough stuff in it but just moving some positions around, we just made too many mistakes."
Williams's lack of full strength following his injury comeback didn't help either. Though he was clearly not at his best, missing only a few plays while having his ankle re-taped, he was assessed a holding penalty late in the third quarter, which resulted in a three-and-out. Following the game, Williams had a walking boot on his right foot.
"It didn't feel good at all," Williams said. Football is played. I just made an effort to persevere for my comrades. I wanted to return there in order to assist my squad attempt to limit Myles Garrett, a Hall of Fame rusher who plays for them in 95. Jaylon Moore, the backup tackle, wasn't someone I wanted to put in that situation."
Brock Purdy, the quarterback, took the fall for not doing enough to compensate for the absence of the big names. Taking his first regular-season defeat as a starter, he finished his worst-ever professional performance 12-of-27 for 125 yards with a score and an interception, good for a passer rating of 55.3. Purdy stated it will be his responsibility to assist cover for McCaffrey, Samuel, and Williams while the Niners wait for further medical information.
It hurts because they're pretty terrific playmakers, Purdy said. However, we also need players to be able to enter the game and make plays. That depends on my ability to support players like JJ and Ray-Ray, who will play more once Elijah enters the game. I need to do a better job of interacting with them during the huddle and setting some expectations for the play and other things.
That's something I need to work on improving. Even if Deebo and Christian are unable to play, we have talented players, so I have faith in whoever steps in."