Will 49ers’ Deebo Samuel resume his touchdown trend against the Rams?

Will 49ers’ Deebo Samuel resume his touchdown trend against the Rams?

SANTA CLARA — The last time Deebo Samuel played at SoFi Stadium, he scored, of course. He does that a lot against the Rams. But he also sulked away heartbroken after the 2021 season’s NFC Championship Game loss to the Rams.

A hamstring injury kept him out of last season’s 31-14 rout there, so when he returns with the 49ers for Sunday’s Week 2 matchup, it’s noteworthy that he does so as a first-time captain.

“It just shows the hard work and stuff I put in this offseason, for the players to vote me in as a captain, it’s real big,” said Samuel, 1-of-6 captains this season.

He has scored seven touchdowns in eight career games against the Rams, including a 44-yard catch-and-run to tie the score at 7 in that eventual NFC Championship Game defeat in January 2022. Otherwise, he’s scored three times on receptions, and three times on runs, all of which contributed to his positional pseudonym as the 49ers’ “wide back.”

He didn’t score in the 49ers’ 30-7 opening win Sunday in Pittsburgh, but he did touch the ball on their first two snaps (6-yard catch, 3-yard run). “We liked those looks and wanted to get the ball in his hands,” coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday of Samuel, who finished with 55 receiving yards (five catches) and eight rushing yards (two carries).

Some of Samuel’s biggest career outings have come against the Rams. In the 2021 regular-season road win, he had 95 yards receiving (four catches) and 45 yards rushing (eight runs). The previous year, he accrued a career-high 11 receptions for 133 yards in the 49ers’ SoFi debut.

The 49ers will have Sanders in uniform this trip, and a huge presence of fans, as usual. “We have the best fan base in the NFL right now,” Samuel said. “They travel everywhere we go, so it’s not something I’m not used to. We’re used to seeing red everywhere.”

While sidelined last visit to SoFi Stadium, Samuel was happy to see that versatility aspect displayed by Christian McCaffrey, who produced touchdowns by passing, rushing and receiving. “It’s a selfless team. Whoever scores is whoever scores,” Samuel said. “As long as we get the win, I’m cool.”


Linebacker Dre Greenlaw (groin) participated for a second straight day after missing Wednesday’s practice. He is off the injury report and fully expected to play.

The scout-team players of the week: running back Ty Davis-Price, wide receiver Isaiah Winstead and defensive end Austin Bryant.


Cornerback Sam Womack sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on the last play of Wednesday’s practice and will go on short-term Injured Reserve, with the expectation of returning in six to eight weeks, Shanahan said.


Questionable for the Rams are linebacker Ernest Jones (illness), wide receiver Puka Nacua (oblique), center Coleman Shelton (toe) and safety Russ Yeast (knee).


Left guard Aaron Banks was the NFL’s fastest offensive lineman in Week 1, running 16 mph on Christian McCaffrey’s 65-yard TD run, general manager John Lynch told KNBR 680-AM. That is faster than Banks’ 40-yard dash time at the 2021 NFL combine (15.3 mph, or 5.34 seconds). After Banks made the initial block that sprung McCaffrey, Banks (325 pounds) tailed on the play and, even though he wasn’t running at full speed, he kept pace 15 yards behind McCaffrey, who picked up astounding blocks down field by Brandon Aiyuk and Ray-Ray McCloud. McCaffrey’s scoring run was the NFL’s fifth-longest play of Week 1.


Here’s another wild note, courtesy of NextGen Stats: The NFL’s most improbable completion of Week 1 was Brock Purdy’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk, which was given a 16.5-percent chance at succeeding but in fact did so against Patrick Peterson’s tight coverage at the front right pylon for a 17-0 lead.

Of T.J. Watt’s three sacks last week against Colton McKivitz, two were among the NFL’s fastest last weekend, clocking 3.2 seconds (seventh-fastest) and 3.4 seconds (11th). The 49ers had two quickies from Javon Hargrave (3.4 seconds, 10th-fastest) and Kerry Hyder Jr. (3.47 seconds, 11th).

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Did the 49ers field a call from the Jets for a Sam Darnold reunion after Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles tear? “No, we did not,” Lynch told KNBR. “… That (injury) was hard to watch. Hard to stomach. They still have a really good team. It will be interesting to see where they go. They have a defensive line that’s special and a defense that’s real good. But that’s a huge loss, no doubt about it.”

Darnold played his first three seasons with the Jets as the 2018 No. 3 overall draft pick. He made his 49ers debut in Sunday’s opener by replacing Purdy to take a knee on the final two snaps.