Samuel caught all four of his targets for 43 yards in last week's 28-23 win over the Bills in the preseason opener.
Samuel's rookie campaign was derailed by injuries, so him getting off to a strong start in the preseason is certainly a welcomed sight. The shifty wideout's night included a 19-yard reception to end the first half. With the order of the Panthers' depth chart still fairly fluid at wideout, Samuel will hope to carry his momentum into this week's meeting with the Dolphins.
Bouncing back from season-ending ankle surgery in late November, the 2017 second-round pick was a limited participant during the offseason program before suffering a minor setback while working out this summer. After missing the first five practices of training camp, Samuel will rejoin his teammates with plenty of time remaining to make his case for a role on offense. He may end up fifth or sixth on the depth chart at wide receiver, but the Panthers could still get him a few touches per game between kick returns, gadget plays and regular targets. Samuel might eventually be a fit in the slot if some combination of Jarius Wright, Torrey Smith and D.J. Moore prove unworthy of regular playing time.
Samuel will start training camp on the Non-Football Injury list after aggravating his surgically repaired ankle earlier this summer, Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer reports.
Samuel participated in some team drills during OTAs in late May, but he apparently had a setback while he was away from the Panthers in June or July. With Torrey Smith, Jarius Wright and first-round pick D.J. Moore all heading to Carolina in the offseason, Samuel could find himself buried on the depth chart even if he makes it back on the practice field within the first week or two of camp. The 2017 second-round pick is likely to have some kind of role on gadget plays and is a candidate to contribute in the return game.
Samuel only did individual work during the first round of OTAs but has now progressed to limited team drills. He seems to be a bit ahead of schedule in his rehab from a November ankle injury that involved ligament damage and required surgery. The 2017 second-round pick will have to fight for his snaps during the upcoming season after the Panthers traded for Torrey Smith, signed Jarius Wright and drafted D.J. Moore in the first round. With Devin Funchess and Damiere Byrd also returning, Samuel could find himself limited to a gadget role on offense along with return duties on special teams.
Samuel (ankle) is running routes and catching passes at OTAs on Tuesday, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports.
While he hasn't necessarily been cleared for all activities, Samuel does appear to have regained most of his quickness, six months after having surgery to repair ligament damage in his left ankle. He was largely limited to straight-line running as of late March, but it isn't shocking to see that he's made considerable progress since the last update two months ago. Samuel seems to be on track for full participation at the start of training camp, where he'll compete for snaps with Devin Funchess, D.J. Moore, Torrey Smith, Jarius Wright and Damiere Byrd. Following an unimpressive rookie season, the 2017 second-round pick may end up settling for a role as a gadget player and kick returner.
|P4||8/30/18||@ PIT||7:30 pm|
|2||9/16/18||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 4|
|6||10/14/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|7||10/21/18||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|10||11/8/18||@ PIT||8:20 pm|
|11||11/18/18||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ NO||1:00 pm|