SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Deebo Samuel appears to be trending in a positive direction for the 49ers.
Samuel was scheduled to participate but will be limited in practice Thursday afternoon, a day after participating only in conditioning and physical therapy at the 49ers' practice facility.
Coach Kyle Shanahan declined to go into any details regarding Samuel's left shoulder injury when he met with the media before practice.
However, 49ers general manager John Lynch seemed optimistic that Samuel would be available to play against the Detroit Lions in Sunday's NFC Championship game at Levi's Stadium.
“Deebo is doing really well in rehab, I'll tell you that,” Lynch said. During an appearance on KNBR. “We're encouraged by the early signs. We've done the scan and all that. We've got good news there, and then, what's his pain? What's his range of motion? These things continue to improve.”
Samuel played just nine snaps in the 49ers' NFC divisional playoff win over the Green Bay Packers before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. Shanahan said tests revealed that Samuel did not suffer a fracture in his shoulder.
“It's very much a fluid situation,” Lynch said. “It's the NFC Championship, though. I can promise you this: Deebo is going to give it everything he can. He's going to want to play until the end. And do we clear him? Do we allow it? We sure would love to have him.”
“I think there is still a lot of time left this week. We are a better team when he is there, so we will do everything we can and he will do everything he can to keep him there.
Samuel is an important part of the 49ers' offense as a passer, runner and blocker. He caught 60 passes for 892 yards and seven touchdowns. He also scored five touchdowns on the ground, gaining 225 yards on 37 attempts.
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