2. Curtis Samuel
The Commanders are one year removed from giving Samuel a three-year, $34.5 million contract in free agency. From there, a groin injury derailed his offseason and trickled into the regular season (apparently there was surgery involved somewhere along the way) before a hamstring injury knocked him out permanently after he returned to the lineup.
Samuel’s workload was carefully managed throughout camp, but he played in the first two preseason games (starters were rested in Week 3) and made it through without any setbacks, seemingly hinting that he’s back to full-strength.
A strong Week 1 ultimately won’t define Samuel’s 2022, but staring the new campaign on a high note would go a long way towards reassuring fans that he’ll have a consistent role on what’s expected to be a much-improved offense.
We’re not saying Samuel has to set the world on fire, but a handful of catches and maybe a touchdown would be a huge monkey off his back.