The 49ers’ best wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot in a throwing session with teammates in Nashville and will undergo surgery on Thursday, the 49ers confirmed. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the surgery will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson with a 12-16 week recovery time. The team expects to have a clearer timetable for his recovery once players report to camp.
The #49ers standout, who became their go-to WR late in the season and in the playoffs, was primed for a huge 2020. He’s having surgery from Dr. Robert Anderson today and should return within 12-16 weeks. Plenty of time to make an impact, assuming a full recovery. https://t.co/FiAQLhtip2
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 18, 2020
Samuel was in Nashville with a host of other 49ers players including: Brandon Aiyuk, C.J. Beathard, Kendrick Bourne, Jalen Hurd, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jauan Jennings, Kyle Juszczyk, George Kittle, Nick Mullens, Dante Pettis, Shawn Poindexter, Broc Rutter, Trent Taylor, Charlie Woerner.
That timeline means that Samuel would miss all of training camp, which starts July 28, assuming the NFL doesn’t push back the schedule due to coronavirus concerns. If that timeline is accurate, he’d return at earliest at the start of the season, and at latest, assuming no additional complications, at the start of October.
But this is not a straightforward injury. Trent Taylor suffered a Jones fracture (a break between the base and middle part of the fifth metatarsal of the foot) in training camp last season and missed the entire year with an onslaught of devastating complications. The team initially had some outside hope that Taylor would return in Week 1.
This was Taylor’s nightmare, and one the 49ers will surely hope to avoid with Samuel:
Initially, there was optimism that Taylor would be able to have the surgery, take the eight-week minimum on injured reserve, or as long as he needed, and recover in time for the final stretch of the season. That hope vanished rapidly. After the Super Bowl, Taylor broke down the complications he dealt with, which necessitated multiple surgeries and antibiotic measures.
The first screw that was inserted into Taylor’s foot “wasn’t really working,” so he went back for a second surgery, for a different screw, at which point his foot became infected. Doctors then attempted to clean out the area and gave Taylor a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line in his arm for five weeks, which he said, “wasn’t really getting to it.”
“So they go back in again and put something inside of my bone, an antibiotic tool inside my bone,” Taylor said. “Had that in there for like six weeks and then the last surgery was just them taking it out.”
That conversation was back on February 5, when Taylor said he would about to be able to stop using the walking boot he’d been using for the past several months. He said then he has “no clue” what his timeline was in terms of returning to working out and being physically prepared for OTAs and training camp.
The 49ers’ first scheduled game of the season is September 13 against the Arizona Cardinals. If Samuel’s timeline, as reported by Rapoport, remains on the earlier side, he could be available by then.