ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Football Team receiver Curtis Samuel will miss three weeks after being placed on injured reserve as he recovers from a lingering groin injury that he first suffered in the spring.
Samuel reinjured his groin while going through warm-up drills Wednesday and did not practice Thursday, though he did go through stretching exercises with the team and on a side field.
After opening training camp on the physically unable to perform list for what was expected to be a short stay, Samuel was placed on the COVID-19 list and missed two weeks of practices.
“We’re trying to catch up on those last two weeks,” coach Ron Rivera said. “We pushed him a little bit last week. He’s not ready. So we figured this is the best thing to do.”
Rivera said Samuel just needs more time to strengthen his groin and they don’t want him to push himself too much trying to get ready for a game. “We just want to take that concern and worry off his shoulders for a little bit,” Rivera said, adding that he’s “very comfortable” that it won’t be a long-term issue.
Washington signed Samuel to a three-year deal worth up to $34.5 million this offseason, hoping he would provide versatility and big plays thanks to his speed. The team hopes to use Samuel in a variety of ways — as a downfield threat outside, in the slot and also out of the backfield.
But even without Samuel, Washington’s coaches feel good about the offense, led by new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, entering Sunday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Chargers. Adding to a skill-position corps that includes receiver Terry McLaurin, tight end Logan Thomas and running backs Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, Washington drafted speedy wideout Dyami Brown in the third round and signed free-agent slot receiver Adam Humphries. They also like how Cam Sims has developed.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in the other guys,” Rivera said.