The Washington Football Team signed receiver Curtis Samuel this offseason to be the do-it-all wizard opposite star Terry McLaurin. Thus far, we haven't seen the new acquisition on the field during training camp.
Samuel continues to deal with a groin injury that popped up earlier this offseason and landed him on the PUP list to start camp. The wideout has also been on the reserve/COVID-19 list, complicating the matter. Samuel was spotted at practice, indicating he's close to coming off the COVID-19 list soon.
On Sunday, coach Ron Rivera told reporters that there is no timeline for Samuel's return to the practice field.
"There's no timetable for Curtis," Rivera said, via NBC Sports Washington. "You'd love for him to catch a few reps maybe in the last preseason game, but we're not going to rush him out there. He's coming back, he'll be healthy, he'll be ready to roll."
Samuel knows Washington's system from his time with OC Scott Turner in Carolina. As the centerpiece of the wideout upgrades this offseason, it's vital to the club's success for Samuel to hit the ground running. Building a rapport with his new QBs is the first step. He projects as the biggest beneficiary of defenses focusing on McLaurin. Washington's lack of a legit No. 2 WR who can burn single coverage has held the offense back.
With the season-opener more than a month away, there is still time for Samuel to return before the campaign kicks off. However, if Rivera is hoping to get him on the field for the third preseason game -- Aug. 28 vs. Baltimore -- the timeline is shorter.
"We're going to ease back into it because, again, he knows the system, he'll pick it up again very, very quickly," Rivera said. "It'll really be about him building his rapport with the quarterbacks."
First, Samuel will come off the COVID-19 list, then the PUP list, then he'll begin to build that rapport with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the season builds. The sooner, the better for everyone in D.C.