Jaylen Samuels will compete for playing time in training camp this summer after a disappointing 2019. He wasn't nearly as efficient statistically and he scored fewer touchdowns despite more touches than from his rookie season. It seems like a longshot for Samuels to be a reliable Fantasy contributor. Benny Snell seems like a better Steelers backup running back.
Samuels has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports. Samuels will join his teammates as practice begins in earnest, thus far having mostly missed out on classroom work and conditioning/strength training. Ed Boucehtte of The Athletic recently suggested Samuels isn't a lock for the regular-season roster, noting that there's tough competition for one or two spots after starter James Conner and rookie fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland. The Steelers also have 2019 fourth-rounder Benny Snell, veteran Wendell Smallwood and 2019 contributors Kerrith Whyte and Trey Edmunds. The final job could come down to special teams value, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for Samuels.
Samuels doesn't appear to be a lock for a roster spot, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic reports. James Conner and rookie fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland are locks, with 2019 fourth-rounder Benny Snell perhaps not too far behind. Samuels is a competent pass catcher who plays special teams and can even line up at tight end or H-back in a pinch, but that won't necessarily assure him of a roster spot, as the Steelers could instead choose Kerrith Whyte, Wendell Smallwood or Trey Edmunds. Currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Samuels isn't able to make his case at the moment.
The Steelers have placed Samuels on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The list was created for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or who have been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person. Samuels, who is entering his third season with the Steelers, is looking to secure a role in team's backfield behind presumed starter James Conner.
Samuels isn't considered a lock to make Pittsburgh's season-opening roster, Bob Labriola of the team's official site reports. A healthy James Conner returns as Pittsburgh's top back in 2020, and it's essentially an open competition between the other options behind him on the depth chart. Samuels is set to vie for a roster spot along with Benny Snell, Kerrith Whyte and fourth-round rookie Anthony McFarland. The 2018 fifth-round pick struggled on the ground with 175 rushing yards (2.7 per carry) last year, but he was more efficient in the passing game, catching 47 of 57 targets for 305 yards.
Samuels caught one of two targets for 16 yards in Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Ravens. Playing in 14 games this season, Samuels struggled to run the ball effectively, finishing 2019 with 175 yards and a touchdown on 66 carries (2.7 YPC) compared to 256 yards on 56 attempts (4.6 YPC) in 2018. Conversely, his role in the passing game increased with Samuels catching 47 of 57 targets for 305 yards and a touchdown. He also completed four of five passes for 35 yards with an interception while occasionally lining up in wildcat formations due to the Steelers' issues at quarterback. Samuels' usage in 2020 will depend largely on the health of other players such as James Conner and Ben Roethlisberger, but he seems to have proven he's not a viable option in a lead role out of the backfield.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/14||@New York Giants||17||17.75|
|13||12/06||Washington Football Team||30||22.75|
|3 Year Avg||61||216||0||36||252||2||58|