Commanders intend to raise receiver Curtis Samuel
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Ron Rivera said Washington COs plan to step up Curtis Samuel due to some questions about the wide receiver’s level of conditioning following a lost 2021 season. due to a groin injury.
Samuel doesn’t suffer from the same injury but, according to the veteran coach, he reported hamstring and back strain to head athletic trainer Al Bellamy after the first two practices of training camp. Samuel, who turns 26 on August 11, did not participate in the individual or team drills and instead worked on the side Monday.
“It all depends on the plan,” Rivera said. “He and Al talked a bit, and there were concerns about his overall football fitness and form. You can train all you want, you can condition all you want, but coming back and doing some of the things we want him to do, we have to be smart with that Al and his guys have a plan, and so with Curtis, we’re going to stick to the plan.
The limited groin injury Samuel had six catches in five games last season after signing a three-year, $34.5 million contract with Washington. Last week he said he felt good and fast despite not participating fully in training.
“I just listen to the coaches’ plan and what they’ve done for me,” Samuel said Friday. “My main goal is to stay ready at all times. I don’t pay too much attention to all that. Do you know what I’m saying? We have a plan that we will stick to and it will work.
Samuel was originally signed to give the Washington offense a speed threat to accompany top receiver Terry McLaurin. Going through off-season training sessions made it look like injury woes were behind him.
“I’m flying all over there and I’m able to do things that I used to do, so I’m excited about that,” Samuel said.
With just under six weeks until the season opener against Jacksonville, there’s no cause for alarm yet about Samuel’s availability, and COs would like that to continue.
“We wanted to make sure we got it back the right way,” Rivera said. “You’ll see there will be build-ups and then we’ll slow him down. There will be times when he’ll interact, getting some of the work done at 11v11, stuff like that, but it’s all part of the plan. The ultimate goal really is the regular season more than anything else.
Samuel is entering his sixth season in the NFL. He had 191 catches for 2,114 yards and 14 touchdowns in 58 games with Carolina and Washington.
KERRIGAN HAS A TASTE FOR COACHING
Two days after returning to his former training center to announce his retirement, Washington career sack leader Ryan Kerrigan was back in some sort of coaching capacity. Kerrigan has expressed interest in becoming a coach, and now he has the opportunity to see what he thinks about working with the Commanders defensive wings.
“He wanted to have an idea,” Rivera said, adding that Kerrigan doesn’t have an official title yet. “We’re going to give him a few weeks and then we’ll re-evaluate and re-evaluate and see where he stands.”
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