The Washington Football Team paid big money to add Curtis Samuel this offseason, signing the former Panthers wide receiver to a three-year, $34.5 million deal to start opposite Terry McLaurin. He missed the first three games of the 2021 season due to a groin injury but is now ready to suit up. On Friday, Washington officially promoted Samuel to the active roster, and head coach Ron Rivera said he's "ready to roll" this Sunday when Washington visits the Atlanta Falcons.
"I just think he's gotten healthier, more so than anything else," Rivera said during Friday's press conference, according to Washington's official website.
Samuel had previously gone through individual running drills on the side of a practice before Washington's Week 3 loss, The Athletic's Ben Standig notes, but Wednesday marked his first official on-field action since training camp. His absence was truly felt in the team's offense during a 43-21 loss to the Bills, with Standig arguing that McLaurin is the only Washington player offering a "big-play element" when Samuel isn't available.
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Samuel, who posted a career-high 77 catches for 851 yards with Carolina in 2020, opened camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list with the groin injury. While he later returned to the field following a stint there, as well as on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Washington put him back on PUP in mid-August before activating him once more, only to place him on IR prior to the start of the season. He missed just one game in 2020 but has battled injuries before, missing seven as a rookie and another three in 2018.
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