Samuels did not register a carry or a target on his five offensive snaps during Sunday's 38-7 win against Cleveland. After handling an average of 61 rush attempts per season over his first two years in the league, Samuels has garnered just two carries in 2020, while James Conner (75), Benny Snell (42) and Anthony McFarland (12) have played more significant roles in the Pittsburgh rushing attack. Samuels did receive five offensive snaps during Sunday's drubbing of the Browns, but 54.8 percent of his playing time has come on special teams this year.
Samuels ran once for two yards and caught his lone target for one yard in Monday night's 26-16 win over the Giants. Samuels had just three touches all game, despite an early injury to James Conner (ankle), and his only carry came in the final seven minutes. As expected, Benny Snell is first up if Conner cannot go, and he may grab extra carries even if Conner is healthy. In either scenario Samuels seems to have little fantasy value.
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.
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.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|13||12/06||Washington Football Team||9||15.14|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||61||216||0||36||252||2||58|