Curtis Samuel injury history and updates

Oct 10, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) walks off the field after the game against the New Orleans Saints at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) walks off the field after the game against the New Orleans Saints at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Football Team‘s 2021 free agency class yielded extremely disappointing results in their first season in Landover.

For starters, Ryan Fitzpatrick broke his hip in the second quarter of the first game of the campaign. William Jackson III, meanwhile, was a turnstile in the secondary early on before he turned a corner from Weeks 10-15.

Even still, he wound up missing five games due to injury.

Injuries were a theme of both Washington’s season and their new signings. The poster child of that was none other than Curtis Samuel, who is a real candidate for the biggest bust signing of last year’s free agent cycle.

Luckily for Samuel, there’s about a dozen other candidates deserving of that title, so it’s not like he was alone in disappointing after signing a big contract. While there’s reason to believe the former second-rounder will bounce back in 2022, fans are justified in having reservations about his soft-tissue injuries.

How concerned should you be? That’s open for interpretation, but you’ll probably have a better idea after reading up on his injury history.

Curtis Samuel injury history and updates

Curtis Samuel hamstring strain, 2017

If it makes Washington fans feel any better, last offseason didn’t mark the first time Samuel suffered an injury gearing up for training camp. In July of 2017, just a few months after the Panthers drafted him in the second round, he suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain that forced him to miss valuable practice time and Carolina’s first two preseason games.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t Samuel’s only injury setback as a rookie.

Curtis Samuel back injury, 2017

Samuel met the expected timetable for his hamstring rehab and went on to appear in nine of the Panthers’ first 10 games in 2017. The one game he missed — Week 4 vs the Patriots — was due to a lower back sprain.

Curtis Samuel ankle fracture, 2017

Samuel didn’t enjoy the smoothest of rookie seasons. While the Ohio State product played in six straight contests after the back injury and slowly but surely started getting more playing time under Ron Rivera, he suffered what was diagnosed as a pedal ankle fracture in Week 10, his best game as a pro.

The injury required surgery and Samuel missed the final six games and extended time in the offseason after it was revealed he suffered ligament damage on top of the broken bone, which prolonged his recovery. It even forced him to miss the first three games of 2018.

To add insult to injury, the injury occurred on a dropped touchdown.

Curtis Samuel knee sprain, 2020

Luckily for Samuel, he caught a break on the injury front for nearly two seasons after his injury-plagued rookie year. In October of 2020, the speedy wideout missed one game due to a knee patella sprain.

No surgery. No ligament damage. Just a sprain and one game missed.

Curtis Samuel groin strain, 2021

At long last, we arrive at Samuel’s lost 2021 season.

For Washington, it started all the way back in June, when he suffered a groin injury that forced him to miss all of mandatory minicamp and most of training camp.

There was a ton of mystery surrounding the injury. Fans questioned why he didn’t undergo surgery only to learn from Ron Rivera that Samuel secretly underwent core-muscle surgery in June when the injury first cropped up. We hate to cast aspersions, but it sounds like Washington mishandled the injury.

From there, Samuel suffered a setback after he pulled up on a route in practice and was subsequently placed on injured reserve to start the season.

Samuel returned in Week 4 to an expected limited role. Amid growing speculation he still wasn’t fully-healed, fans questioned whether he should be shut down. Lo and behold, he endured another setback in Week 5 and was absent for the next six weeks…without being placed on IR for whatever reason.

Curtis Samuel hamstring injury, 2021

We didn’t see Samuel again until Week 12. He enjoyed a three-game stint in the lineup, though he was barely used, and suffered a hamstring injury along the way. He missed the rest of the year and, like his groin injury (but on a lesser scale), there was a great deal of mystery behind this injury.

To make matters worse, Samuel later revealed in his end-of-season presser that he felt the best he had all season.

That brings us to current events.

It’s not the most damning injury history by any stretch, but it’s no surprise why fans would like Washington to add another receiver this offseason as extra insurance, whether it be through the draft (our choice) or free agency.

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