Samuel (chest) caught two of four targets for 37 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 33-31 win over the Giants.
Samuel made his season debut after receiving clearance from a heart issue, marking the occasion with a 25-yard touchdown reception to get his team on the board in the fourth quarter. His only other catch resulted in a 12-yard gain, but it was still a respectable showing for the second-year wideout. Samuel should step into more of a role in the offense with time and will look to build on this effort next Sunday against the Redskins.
Samuel (chest) is set to make his 2018 regular-season debut Sunday against the Giants, Bryan Strickland of the Panthers' official site reports. Coach Ron Rivera wouldn't specify how much Samuel would play in Week 5, but suggested the second-year wideout could have a role in the return game.
Perhaps more notable was the fact that Rivera didn't offer any assurances Samuel would be used on offense, an indication that Samuel likely isn't any higher than fifth on the depth chart at receiver. That comes as no surprise given that Samuel has been sidelined for just over a month following a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, but the 22-year-old's role could expand once he gets his conditioning back on track. Even on the occasions he was able to suit up as a rookie, Samuel failed to make much of a splash offensively, notching just 15 receptions for 115 yards and no touchdowns in nine games.
Sidelined for the first three games of the season while recovering from a procedure to address an irregular heartbeat, Samuel finally returned to practice Monday when the Panthers came out of a Week 4 bye. He's on the right track to make his 2018 regular-season debut Sunday against the Giants, but he'll likely be fifth in line for snaps at wide receiver behind Devin Funchess, Torrey Smith, Jarius Wright and D.J. Moore.
Samuel has yet to practice this week, despite Rivera's optimism. Still recovering from a procedure he underwent in the offseason to address an irregular heartbeat, the 2017 second-rounder seems a long shot to suit up against the Falcons on Sunday but could be nearing a return.
Samuel (chest) did not participate in Thursday's practice, Joe Person of The Athletic reports.
This is the second straight absence for Samuel, as he continues to be held out while recovery from a procedure he underwent for an irregular heartbeat. Samuel would need to at least put in limited work during Friday's practice to have any shot of playing Sunday, but given his absence this week, it appears that the wideout is on track to miss his second straight contest to open the season.
|7||10/21/18||@ PHI||Won 21-17|
|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|