The Washington Football Team will play a first-place schedule this season, but they’ll have an excellent opportunity to start things off on the right foot against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
While Ron Rivera’s side is a defensive juggernaut, his offense might need to put up some points with the weapons the Chargers, who averaged a respectable 24.0 points per game last year, boast on that side of the ball.
With that in mind, Ryan Fitzpatrick could really use his full complement of weapons. Whether that happens, however, currently remains to be seen, as Curtis Samuel is as questionable as they come for Sunday’s 1 p.m. EST kickoff.
While speaking to reporters on Monday, Rivera refused to commit to Samuel playing this weekend, though the 25-year-old wide receiver was finally in pads and practicing with his teammates to start off the week.
Is Football Team receiver Curtis Samuel going to play on Sunday?
A nagging groin injury has limited Samuel to individual drills since he was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Aug. 15, so it’s undoubtedly a great sign that he was practicing in pads on Monday.
However, it’s worth noting that he hasn’t participated in team drills since mandatory minicamp in June when he suffered the injury. Rivera has maintained that Samuel won’t play unless he’s 100% game ready (mostly conditioning), so we’ll have to wait and see if a handful of practices is enough to get him to that point.
For any fans wondering if Samuel’s rapport with Fitzpatrick and overall grasp of the playbook will factor into his availability, it won’t. Rivera’s confident the QB-WR duo will hit the ground running and Samuel is already familiar with Scott Turner’s offense from his days in Carolina (Turner was the Panthers’ OC in 2019).
Our advice? Wait to see how Samuel’s body responds to Monday’s increased workload. If he isn’t feeling any soreness or lingering effects, we presume he’ll suit up against the Chargers. If his legs don’t respond well, you can fill in the blanks.
Even Samuel doesn’t know yet, so have patience.
The important thing to remember is that Rivera isn’t going to play Samuel if he can’t log a full complement of snaps.
As disappointing as it would be if Samuel was held out, Washington is clearly taking a bigger-picture approach with its prized free agent signing.
We all know groin injuries can be messy and for Samuel, who relies so heavily on his speed and lateral quickness to create separation, it’s understandably taken him longer than expected to make it back to practice without limitations.