Samuels carried five times for seven yards and caught three of four targets for 22 yards and a touchdown during Thursday's 52-21 win over Carolina. The rookie benefited from Pittsburgh taking a big lead early in the game, matching his total carries on the season. He also caught his first passes and scored his first professional touchdown to cap the scoring for the Steelers. James Conner was removed from the game in the fourth quarter and was being evaluated for a concussion, so there is a chance that Samuels could see a bump in playing time when the Steelers play the Jaguars in Week 11.
Samuels ran for 17 yards on four carries during Sunday's 33-18 win over Cleveland. Entering the contest, Samuels had played just two offensive snaps on the season, but he toted the rock on four consecutive plays in the fourth quarter for his first touches of the campaign. Expect him to return to his usual role on special teams, as James Conner has been impressive while rushing for 599 yards and nine touchdowns on 127 carries, while adding 323 yards on 31 receptions as a fill-in for Le'Veon Bell (contract dispute).
Samuels did not play in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs. Samuels has not played a down yet this season, even with Le'Veon Bell (contract dispute) away from the team. James Conner has taken over as the bell cow in the backfield, playing in 89 percent of the Steelers' offensive snaps Sunday.
Samuels failed to see any action in Sunday's 21-21 tie against the Browns. In Le'Veon Bell's absence (contract dispute), Samuels was listed a James Conner's back-up on the Pittsburgh depth chart and was expected to be utilized as a third-down, pass-catching option, but the rookie was never given a chance. He may be worth stashing in deep leagues, at least until (if) Bell returns.
Samuels could see more involvement in the Steelers' passing game than initially anticipated Sunday against the Browns with lead back Le'Veon Bell (contract dispute) not expected to be available for the season opener, Joe Rutter of TribLive.com reports. Bell's reputation as one of the NFL's premier three-down backs and James Conner's status as his top understudy seemingly blocked Samuels' path to immediate snaps with the Steelers, who selected the North Carolina State product in the fifth round of April's draft. However, with Bell and the Steelers unable to come to terms on an extension over the summer and the veteran back having yet to report to the team to sign his franchise tender, Samuels suddenly finds himself in an intriguing position within an offense brimming with talent. While head coach Mike Tomlin hasn't formally defined what Samuels' role will look like Week 1 behind expected starter James Conner, it's not hard to envision the rookie picking up reps on passing downs. During his senior season, Samuels excelled as a receiver and route runner while lining up out of the backfield, at tight end and even in the slot, hauling in 76 passes for 597 yards and four touchdowns on 99 targets.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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