SANTA CLARA – Deebo Samuel's official status is uncertain, but he was in good spirits after suffering a left shoulder injury during the 49ers' 24-21 victory in the NFC divisional round Saturday night at Levi's Stadium.
“I'm fine,” Samuel told NBC Sports Bay Area after the win as he joked with his teammates in the locker room.
It was a much different scene than when he injured the same shoulder in the 49ers' Week 6 loss to the Cleveland Browns. After the loss on October 15, Samuel needed help putting on his jacket in the locker room after the game because of the injury.
On Saturday, Samuel raised both arms while pulling his shirt over his head.
Samuel recorded just two receptions for 24 yards before being sidelined in the first quarter. The wideout caught his first pass from Brock Purdy for a 15-yard gain, pushing Kyle Juszczyk to the turf.
“I didn’t even know he was in front of me,” Samuel said, laughing. “He came up to me after the play and asked why I pushed him, but I just ran.”
When Samuel got up from that game, he startled everyone when he hobbled off the field. It turned out that the receiver's shoe had partially come off, causing him to walk awkwardly off the field.
Two plays later, Samuel caught his second target of the game for nine yards and was fighting for more yards when he landed hard on the turf. The All-Pro remained on the field while the 49ers' medical staff surrounded the receiver, who eventually ran under his own power toward the bench just a few feet away.
After being examined for a concussion, Samuel was cleared, but shortly afterwards his shoulder injury became a problem, forcing him to miss the rest of the game.
If the versatile receiver is unable to play in Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Detroit Lions or Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ray-Ray McCloud and Chris Conley could step up alongside Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings.
Coach Kyle Shanahan could provide an update on Samuel's health during his usual conference call the next day on Sunday.