Curtis Samuel workout video offers hope ahead of make-or-break 2022
By Jerry Trotta
As presently constructed, the Washington Commanders are extremely thin at the wide receiver position.
The arrival of Carson Wentz should prove beneficial for both Dyami Brown, who disappointed as a third-round pick in 2021, and Cam Sims, who re-signed with the team after logging a frustratingly low 31 percent snap share last season.
But let’s call it like it is, folks. Terry McLaurin is the only sure thing in the Commanders’ wideout room both right now and going forward.
There was hope that Curtis Samuel, McLaurin’s former teammate at Ohio State, would become that guy after he signed with Washington as a free agent last offseason, but his debut campaign couldn’t have gone worse.
As a result, Samuel is entering a do-or-die season in Ashburn. If the 25-year-old labors through another injury-riddled year, the team would save $10.6 million in cap space by designating him as a post-June 1 cut next offseason.
Clearly aware of the magnitude of the 2022 campaign, Samuel participated in (holds breath) resistance sprints over the weekend.
Curtis Samuel’s latest workout video is a sign of optimism.
A six-second sprint spanning 20 yards might not seem like a big deal to some, but Commanders fans might as well pop champagne after watching this video, which was posted to Instagram by Florida-based trainer Pete Bommarito.
After the setback-laden season Samuel underwent in 2021, which saw him placed on both injured reserve and the physically unable to perform list, play a grand total of 81 offensive snaps and contribute 10 touches for 38 scrimmage yards, any footage that shows he’s on the comeback trail is worth holding onto.
That doesn’t mean fans should let their guard down and entrust the $34.5 million receiver, however. Samuel hasn’t given fans (or the team) a reason to believe he’ll turn it around. That trust can only be restored by being available and producing.
With that said, the fact Samuel is confident enough in his body to participate in this high-intensity drill is a beacon of hope. For most players, grinding in preparation of voluntary offseason workouts is the norm.
For Samuel, though, it’s an undeniable step in the right direction, even if it’s an insignificant one in the grand scheme of things. After all, the former Buckeye could barely run a route at three-quarters speed without coming up gimpy.
This troubling practice highlight says it all.
Even seven months later that video is still a tough watch, and we can’t help but sympathize with Samuel ahead of his make-or-break 2022.
How many times did you read a practice report that said “Curtis Samuel to the side field” or “Curtis Samuel getting stretched out by trainers“? It was an everyday occurrence spanning OTAs to the start of the regular season in September.
If you laugh at the idea of a 20-yard sprint qualifying as progress, that’s fine. We’re just taking solace in the fact that Samuel trusts his groin enough to exert himself because that wasn’t the case for most of the 2021 calendar year.