Deebo Samuel to return for short-handed San Francisco 4ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Coming off a bye week, the San Francisco 49ers had hoped they would be closer to resembling a healthy team in time for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Instead, the Niners are perhaps more short-handed than ever.

First, the good news. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel will be back from his hamstring injury, as he made it through the week of practice and does not have a designation on Friday's injury report.

And cornerback Richard Sherman (calf), running back Raheem Mostert (ankle) and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) are expected to be activated from injured reserve on Saturday, with a chance to play Sunday.

"We'll get them on the roster tomorrow," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "They got better each day, we'll put them on the active roster and they'll be questionable going into the game."

Additionally, the Niners activated defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday. He's also listed as questionable for Sunday.

Despite those pending returns, the 49ers are likely to be missing even more players. As of Friday afternoon, the Niners had six players -- left tackle Trent Williams, receiver Brandon Aiyuk, defensive tackle D.J. Jones, defensive end Jordan Willis, linebacker Joe Walker and tight end Daniel Helm -- on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Shanahan wasn't optimistic that any of them would be available to play Sunday, with Williams, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, having an "outside chance" to play.

Complicating matters further, the Niners added three players -- tight end Jordan Reed and linebackers Azeez Al-Shaair and Dre Greenlaw -- to the injury report Thursday with a questionable designation. Their absence in practice the past two days left the 49ers so short on players that they went at mostly walk-through pace in both of those sessions.

That meant the only real practice of the week came on Wednesday after the team was off all of last week.

"The biggest challenge was coming back, having a week off and knowing how much work we had to get crisp and really only getting it in on Wednesday," Shanahan said. "So, yesterday finding out, losing those three players about 15 minutes before practice started, kind of made us scramble a little bit. Guys wanted to get work in, but we had to be smart. We were just too low on guys and if we had gone full speed it would have really hurt a certain group of players. So we had to walk through for everyone just to get us through it."

And if that wasn't enough, starting guard Tom Compton suffered a concussion in Thursday's practice and has been ruled out for Sunday.

"It was unfortunate because it was walk-through," Shanahan said. "He ended up getting a concussion. We didn't notice it out at practice or anything because we were going half speed. But he reported it after [practice]."

Compton, running back Tevin Coleman (knee), linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (hamstring) and cornerback K'Waun Williams (ankle) were all ruled out on Friday's injury report.