49ers inactives: Deebo Samuel injury leaves room for receiver to step up

Matt Maiocco
·2 min read

49ers need receivers to step up with Deebo out vs. Seahawks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers will meet the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday without two of their top four wide receivers.

Starting wideout Deebo Samuel is expected to be out for at least two games with a hamstring injury. Receiver/return specialist Richie James was ruled out with an ankle sprain.

That leaves the door open for someone other than Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne to develop a rapport with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the team's key NFC West matchup against the first-place Seahawks.

Wide receiver Dante Pettis, who has been a significant disappointment as a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, is back in uniform after being deactivated for the past three games.

Pettis has not caught a pass for the 49ers in more than a year. His last reception came on Oct. 31, 2019, against the Arizona Cardinals. Recently, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers have made and fielded calls about a possible trade of Pettis.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday.

The 49ers on Saturday promoted slot receiver River Cracraft from the practice squad, as the 49ers look for some production from that spot.

Cracraft appeared in eight games with the Denver Broncos in 2018 and one game last year. He has one career catch for 44 yards. He has averaged 3.3 yards on 12 punt returns.

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Even though James has not caught a pass this season, he replaced Trent Taylor as the team's fourth receiver in recent weeks. Taylor has seen a significant reduction in playing time.

On the season, Taylor has just six catches for 45 yards.

The 49ers have gotten little production from anyone other than their top three wide receivers.

Rookie Brandon Aiyuk leads the wideouts with 20 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown. Bourne has 17 receptions for 271 yards and a touchdowns. Samuel has 16 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown.

After Taylor, the only other wide receiver to catch a pass this season for the 49ers is since-released veteran Mohamed Sanu, who had one reception for 9 yards.

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