Why Stephen A believes 49ers won't beat Lions without Deebo

Why Stephen A believes 49ers won't beat Lions without Deebo originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Even without star wide receiver Deebo Samuel, the 49ers survived to defeat the Green Bay Packers 24-21 in the NFC divisional playoff round.

But can San Francisco win again without Samuel, this time against the Detroit Lions in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium?

If No. 19 can’t go due to the shoulder injury he sustained against Green Bay, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes the 49ers will be in serious trouble against the Lions.

“The San Francisco 49ers are not beating the Detroit Lions without Deebo Samuel,” Smith declared during Monday’s episode of “First Take.”

Samuel left Saturday’s game against Green Bay with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter after injuring the same left shoulder he fractured against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6, which caused the 28-year-old to miss three weeks of activity.

Samuel’s absence caused quarterback Brock Purdy and coach Kyle Shanahan to scramble and adjust the 49ers’ playbook against the Packers, calling on other players to step up -- a process that proved to be difficult despite San Francisco’s advancement.

While no injury updates are fun, Samuel’s seem promising. Shanahan on Monday told reporters there wasn't a break in Samuel's shoulder, but San Francisco is being patient with the wideout.

“It wasn’t broken, so that was a real good sign,” Shanahan said. “But he’s still hurting too much for us to really have an idea how it’s going to heal up this week. So we got to be patient and see how he feels on Wednesday. Based off if it’s improving, it’ll give us a better idea if he has a chance for the game or not.”

If Samuel can play, he’ll provide a huge boost that San Francisco yearned for against Green Bay.

In the wideout's last game against the Lions, he caught nine passes for 189 yards and a score in Detroit.

The Lions do not want to see No. 19 on the gridiron with a trip to Super Bowl LVIII on the line.

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