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49ers suddenly have injury worries on Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel



© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

You don’t normally expect regression in practice.

The general rhythm of players who are injured is that if they don’t practice, they return to practice in limited fashion later in the week, and possibly participate in full. If they are limited, they’ll sometimes work up to full participation later.

The 49ers have two star payers who had injury issues develop over the week, or at least not progress as expected.

Deebo Samuel was limited with a quad contusion on Wednesday, but then missed practice on Thursday and came out late to practice on Friday. Kyle Shanahan said on KNBR Friday morning that Samuel would have to, “… do something today to give him a chance for it to be a game-time decision.”

Shanahan told reporters later on Friday that Samuel will be listed as questionable and explained what his situation is. He said Samuel was limited on Friday and didn’t do “much” in practice.

“There was no setback,” Shanahan said. “When you have a deep thigh bruise, you kind of have an idea of how it’s gonna be and just hasn’t been as good as we were expecting by now. Expected him to be able to go full by now and wasn’t able to, so that’s why there’s some concern.”

The news on Trent Williams was more surprising. He practiced in full on Wednesday and Thursday, but walked off the field during Friday’s practice due to a back injury.

Shanahan said that Williams was having back spasms and is “expecting him to be alright,” but that he’ll be listed as questionable for Sunday.

Charles Omenihu (knee) and Spencer Burford (ankle) will both be questionable, while Arik Armstead and Christian McCaffrey are both good to go.

Elijah Mitchell was the only 49ers player ruled out, as he deals with an MCL sprain which will sideline him for the rest of the regular season, but keep him on pace to potentially return at the start of the playoffs.

Shanahan said the team will make a decision on whether to place him on injured reserve over the next 24 hours.

San Francisco has two slots left to return players from IR this season. If Mitchell was placed on the list, that would leave just one other spot, which is likely going to be used by Javon Kinlaw.

How soon could Kinlaw return?

“I do believe it’s getting close,” Shanahan said. “It could be any week now.”

If that holds true, the 49ers could get their starting interior of the defensive line back in time for the playoff stretch run, and get their RB2 back at the beginning of the playoffs.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, haven’t ruled out star tackle Terron Armstead available despite him suffering a partial tear of his pectoral. Armstead is listed as doubtful, though, which is a pretty reasonable indicator of how difficult it would be for him to play Sunday.

Both quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Myles Gaskin are questionable. Only offensive lineman Austin Jackson has been ruled out.