NFL legend Jerry Rice has a tough message for the 49ers coaches after Deebo Samuel’s injury

NFL legend Jerry Rice had some words for the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff after Deebo Samuel walked out of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an ankle injury.

Rice posted Samuel’s headshot to Instagram and implored the 49ers to change their decision making.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, top left, reacts as San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, center, during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, December 11, 2022. being carted off the field.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, top left, reacts as San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, center, during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, December 11, 2022. being carted off the field.
(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

“Please stop running out on the skill player in the middle,” he wrote. “Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo and now Deebo Samuel are all injured!!”

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan delivered some good news at the post-game press conference. He said Samuel didn’t break any bones and “most likely” suffered a sprained ankle – a painful injury that could keep him off the field for at least the remainder of the regular season. However, he could be back in time for the playoffs should the 49ers hold off the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.

Samuel got the ball in a running game at 5:10 in the second quarter. Samuel’s knee seemed to buckle in a tackle as he fumbled the ball. The ball was recovered by Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David, giving the Buccaneers good field position.

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Former San Francisco 49ers and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice cheers during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi's Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Santa Clara, California.

Former San Francisco 49ers and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice cheers during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi’s Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Santa Clara, California.
(Thearon W Henderson/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, Samuel looked really hurt. Medical staff brought a carriage for Samuel and he was taken to the dressing room before being ruled out with an ankle injury.

He had four catches for 43 yards left with 21 yards down and a quick touchdown. San Francisco was up 21-0 when he was pulled off the field.

In recent seasons, Samuel has become a jack of all trades for the 49ers. The 2019 second-round pick should play an even more important role when quarterback Brock Purdy took the reins from an injured Jimmy Garoppolo last week.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, center, reacts as he is carted off the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Santa Clara, Calif. Sunday, December 11, 2022.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, center, reacts as he is carted off the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Santa Clara, Calif. Sunday, December 11, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

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Beginning Week 14, Samuel had 50 catches for 569 yards and two touchdowns and 207 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He came out of an All-Pro season in 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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