Deebo Samuel is not one of the best running backs in the NFL... but that might only be because he's not a running back at all. When he's used like one, though, he's just as good as anybody.
The star wide receiver is having a breakout season to remember, with 73 receptions, 1,310 yards and six touchdowns through the air entering Week 18. But while that's a fantastic stat line in itself, it simply doesn't give you the full scope of just how deadly a weapon Samuel is. Add in the rushing stats, and you've got a whole different story.
Before Sunday afternoon's Week 18 clash between the 49ers and Rams had begun, Samuel had racked up 320 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground in 51 attempts, giving him an average above 6.0 yards per carry and showing you just how often they like to use him in that role. Though Eli Mitchell is more than capable as a lead back, the injuries throughout the rest of the backfield make Samuel's impact in the ground game even more important.
Not only are those numbers important components of the team's success, but they also became historic in the third quarter. A 16-yard rush to put the contest within one score also put Samuel at eight rushing touchdowns on the season, which officially breaks a 50-year-old record that had been set by Lenny Moore in 1961 (per Statmuse).
Moore, a Hall of Famer, is listed as a halfback and "flanker" on Pro Football Reference, so it seems like it depends who you ask as to whether or not he was the true record-holder for WR rushing touchdowns in the first place. Moore had 16 rushing touchdowns in 1964, though he was fully listed as a halfback at that point.
Whatever the case, this stat just shows how versatile Samuel is, how talented he can be in a number of categories and just how much fun Kyle Shanahan must have in deploying his third-year star. What's going to come next... 30-plus-yard passing touchdowns or something ridiculous like that?
A wide receiver with a passing score and rushing score in the same quarter? We're running out of ways to describe him at this point.