Eagles’ A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel putting friendship aside for NFC title game

Close friends Deebo, Brown ‘locked in’ for 49ers-Eagles clash originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Since entering the NFL Draft together in 2019, 49ers “wide back” Deebo Samuel and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown have become good friends and often refer to each other as family.

But on Sunday, it will be a very different story.

The star receivers will go head-to-head as the Eagles host the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. The winner will advance to Super Bowl LVII and play the victors of the Cincinnati Bengals-Kansas City Chiefs AFC title game.

“That’s my bro,” Brown told reporters Wednesday of Samuel. “He’s not talking to me at the time. We talked after he won a game. We told each other good luck, and we’ll see each other on the field.”

Brown had a great regular season in his first year with the Eagles. He caught 88 passes and set a franchise record with 1,496 yards.

Last week, though, the 25-year-old raised some eyebrows when he was visibly frustrated on the sideline of the Eagles’ win over the New York Giants because of a lack of touches.

Brown later explained that it’s just his mentality as a top-end receiver in the league, and is ready to move forward on Sunday against the 49ers.

Meanwhile, Samuel had a big game against the Seattle Seahawks in their Super Wild Card matchup, but he was held to 56 yards on 11 touches last week against the Dallas Cowboys. Still, we’ve all seen what an explosive postseason Deebo Samuel looks like, and the 49ers will need that on Sunday.

The matchup will bring the 49ers’ top-ranked defense against an MVP candidate in Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and one of the league’s best offensive lines.

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Even though Samuel and Brown aren’t on speaking terms this week, Brown knows they’ll both be ready to give it their all come Sunday.

“He’s locked in and I’m locked in,” Brown said. “It’s all love at the end of the day regardless, so whichever way it goes.”

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