San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Nick Mullens is set to make his second consecutive start on Sunday night with Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) ruled out, but he will have the benefit of having the Niners’ top playmakers at his disposal.
In addition to tight end George Kittle making his return to the lineup, second-year wideout Deebo Samuel will make his season debut in this Sunday night’s home game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.
Samuel has fully recovered from offseason foot surgery and will be activated from injured reserve while Kittle is set to return from a Week 1 knee injury that forced him out of the past two games. Both players have been taken off the 49ers’ injury report after being full participants in practice all week.
Samuel’s addition has been long-awaited for the 49ers, who have been decimated with injuries this season, let alone at the receiver position. Samuel emerged as the Niners’ best receiver in his rookie campaign, catching 57 balls for 802 yards and three TDs while rushing for another three scores.
Mullens maintained order in Kyle Shanahan’s offense last week, throwing for 343 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers’ blowout win over the Giants. His mistake-free play and undeniable command of the offense could give the 49ers peace of mind in regards to bringing back Garropolo, who exited midway through Week 2’s game with an ankle injury.
The addition of Kittle and Samuel come at an ideal time for San Francisco with several other key players still on the shelf.
Running back Raheem Mostert (knee) remains out while tight end Jordan Reed (knee) joined RB Tevin Coleman on injured reserve. In regards to a defense that has already lost Nick Bosa for the season and Richard Sherman for an extended period of time, starters Dee Ford (back), Dre Greenlaw (quad), Emmanuel Moseley (concussion), and Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) have all been ruled out vs. the Eagles.
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