HomeSportsNiners won't win Sunday if Deebo Samuel doesn't play, Colin Cowherd says

Niners won’t win Sunday if Deebo Samuel doesn’t play, Colin Cowherd says

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Deebo Samuel’s status for the San Francisco 49ers’ upcoming game against the Detroit Lions remains a mystery. 

The star wide receiver injured his shoulder during the team’s 24-21 victory over Green Bay in the divisional round and was forced to exit the game after just his second touch. Samuel avoided serious injury, receiving negative results from his X-rays following the game, but no word has been given about whether he’ll join the team against Detroit (6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app) 

Samuel’s potential absence could tremendously alter San Francisco’s effectiveness on offense, and that hole was evident in the unit when he exited last week’s game. The former first-team All-Pro recipient is a game-changer, so much so that Colin Cowherd’s prediction for Sunday’s matchup directly depends on Samuel’s status.

“That totally unique player is up in the air for the championship,” Cowherd said about Samuel Tuesday on “The Herd.” “So when you view the Niners, don’t we view them as creative and unpredictable and clever? They are with Deebo. But I’ll argue when you take Deebo out of the Niners, they’re actually a very traditional offense, with one deep receiver, an old school physical tight end and a dominant running back.”

Cowherd compared the squad without Samuel to one that failed to make the postseason.

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“Think about this: With Deebo, the Niners win 70 percent of their games. Without Deebo, they’re the Raiders: 8-9, with a star receiver, a dominant running back, a really good left tackle and a quarterback who you don’t trust. And a great edge rusher. Think I’m joking? What do the Raiders have? Maxx Crosby, Davante Adams, a great left tackle, star running back. … Christian McCaffrey’s the best player. Deebo’s the X-factor.

“Without Deebo, they’re 8-9. With Deebo, they average 27 a game. Without Deebo, 24, and that is significant. The turnover differential with Deebo, plus-25. Without Deebo, minus-eight. That’s since Deebo entered the game. … The numbers tell you that Deebo is worth a field goal. If you simply take Deebo out of the Niners, he is a field goal. That would be the most valuable non-quarterback in the National Football League. No other player is worth three points. … The numbers tell you that Deebo is worth a field goal in a game where the line is what, three, three-and-a-half points? I will take the Lions if Deebo does not play.”

San Francisco is currently a seven-point favorite in the game, but Detroit has been on a tear this season. Brock Purdy, despite leading a game-winning drive against Green Bay, struggled through most of the contest. Being without Samuel certainly won’t make things easier.

And Cowherd believes his absence would swing the odds in Detroit’s favor.

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