The San Francisco 49ers entered Sunday afternoon with Brock Purdy set to make his first start of the season after seeing Jimmy Garoppolo suffer a broken foot early in their win over the Dolphins last week. Garoppolo was already starting in place of Trey Lance, who was lost for the season in Week 2, and the Niners could ill afford to lose any more key stars on offense if they are to keep title dreams alive with Purdy now under center.
Unfortunately, after a tremendous 21-0 start against Tampa on Sunday, the Niners saw their biggest offensive weapon, Deebo Samuel, get carted off the field after he got rolled up on in the second quarter on a rushing attempt.
Samuel fumbled the ball because of the pain, and immediately grabbed at his left knee. He would get carted off the field, with his teammates coming over to give him encouragement while he was in tears headed to the locker room, still holding that knee.
It is obviously a massive blow for the Niners, who rely so heavily on Samuel and the recently acquired Christian McCaffrey to apply pressure to opposing defenses with their unique abilities to both run and catch the ball. Samuel had 64 combined yards and a touchdown already against the Bucs, and now much more attention shifts to McCaffrey and receivers like Brandon Aiyuk to try and fill the massive shoes left by the injured Samuel.