SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Deebo Samuel appears to be trending in a positive direction for the 49ers.
Samuel was scheduled to participate Thursday afternoon but was able to practice on a limited basis, a day after participating only in conditioning and physical therapy exercises at the 49ers' training facility.
Coach Kyle Shanahan declined to elaborate on Samuel's left shoulder injury when meeting with the media before practice.
However, 49ers general manager John Lynch expressed optimism that Samuel will be available for the NFC Championship Game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
“Deebo is doing really well in his rehab, I can tell you that,” Lynch said during an appearance on KNBR. “The first signs gave us courage. We did the scans and everything. We have good news there, and then the question is: What ails him? What is his range of motion? “These things just keep getting better.”
Samuel played just nine snaps in the 49ers' NFC divisional playoff round win over the Green Bay Packers before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. Shanahan said tests showed Samuel did not suffer a broken shoulder.
“It’s a very fluid situation,” Lynch said. “It’s the NFC Championship, though. I can promise you this: Deebo will do everything he can. He will want to play in the end. And do we set him free? Do we allow this? We would definitely like to have him.
“I think there’s still a lot of time left this week. We’re a better team when he’s out there, so we’re going to do everything in our power and he’s going to do everything in his power to have him out there.”
Samuel is an important part of the 49ers offense as a pass catcher, runner and blocker. He caught 60 passes for 892 yards and seven touchdowns. He also scored five touchdowns on the ground while rushing for 225 yards on 37 attempts.
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