Samuels will have to compete for touches once again this season after the Steelers selected Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.
After James Conner signed with the Cardinals during the offseason, the Steelers signed Kalen Ballage at the end of March before selecting Harris with their first pick in the draft. Samuels was mainly limited to special-teams work in 2021, and he could have to compete for a roster spot during training camp and the preseason now that the team's depth chart at running back is even more crowded. Samuels rushed nine times for 28 yards while hauling in nine passes for 46 yards in 2020.
Samuels was on the field for only 10 snaps on special teams during Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Browns.
Even as the Steelers relied heavily on their depth players in Sunday's Week 17 matchup, Samuels wasn't on the field for any offensive snaps against the Browns. The 24-year-old was far less involved in the Steelers' offensive attack this year than he had been in past seasons. He rushed nine times for 28 yards while hauling in nine of his 14 targets for 46 yards. He could move up the depth chart in 2021 if James Conner doesn't return to the team during the offseason, but he should continue to see a minimal role in the playoffs and will likely serve in a depth role once again next year.
Samuels did not receive any rush attempts or targets during Sunday's 28-24 win over the Colts.
The veteran back saw four of his 19 snaps on the offensive side, but he went without a touch for the first time over his past four appearances. James Conner's return from a quadriceps injury all but eliminated an already minimal offensive role for Samuels. He's totaled 74 scrimmage yards with no touchdowns over 18 combined carries and rush attempts this season.
Samuels recorded one carry for four yards while hauling in his lone target for 12 yards in Monday's 27-17 loss to the Bengals.
Samuels played a considerable role for the Steelers over the past two weeks and figured to be in line for increased work against Cincinnati with James Conner (quadriceps) sidelined. However, he was only on the field for seven offensive snaps after playing 27 offensive snaps in each of the last two weeks. The 24-year-old has now brought in seven of his nine targets over the past three weeks, but he has only recorded 74 yards from scrimmage on 18 touches this season.
Samuels is expected to slot in as the No. 2 running back in Monday's game against the Bengals because James Conner (quad) has been ruled out.
When Conner sat out in Week 13 against Washington, Samuels logged a 38 percent snap share and four touches as the backup to Benny Snell. Anthony McFarland rotated in as the clear No. 3 back. The Steelers figure to roll with a similar rotation in Week 15. As a result, Snell may be the only dependable fantasy option, although Samuels could see more work if they start running up the score. Through 11 games this year, Samuels has been inefficient with just 58 yards from scrimmage on 16 touches.
Samuels logged four carries for 15 yards while hauling in three of his four targets for 18 yards in Sunday's 26-15 loss to Buffalo.
Even with James Conner back from the reserve/COVID-19 list for Sunday's primetime matchup, Samuels led the Steelers backfield with 27 snaps in the loss. Samuels garnered a season-high seven touches, but he was unable to record much production with the ball in his hands. It's not yet known whether Samuels' increased snap count will continue while Conner remains healthy.
Samuels logged 11 yards on three receptions, adding a one-yard rush during Monday's 23-17 loss to Washington.
Samuels' 27 offensive snaps constituted a season high, as Pittsburgh went without starting RB James Conner for Monday night because of his presence on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The uptick in involvement is likely temporary, as coach Mike Tomlin expressed optimism Tuesday regarding Conner's potential availability for Week 14, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network. Samuels' production has been minimal to this point in 2020, with just 25 scrimmage yards collected over his nine offensive touches.
Samuels (quadriceps) practiced fully Friday, Brian Batko of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Samuels missed the last two games but upgraded to a full practice after previously being limited. As a result, the depth running back should be out there Monday against Washington, and Samuels will likely be involved to some extent on offense if starting running back James Conner doesn't come off the reserve/COVID-19 list by game day.
Samuels (quadriceps) has been ruled out ahead of Tuesday's game against the Ravens, Chris Adamski of TribLive.com reports.
The Steelers were unable to hold an official practice Saturday, but they still ruled out Samuels ahead of Tuesday's game. It remains to be seen if the contest will actually happen, especially after James Conner reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, but if the game does take place, expect a major workload for the likes of Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland.
Samuels (quadriceps) was listed a non-participant on Monday's practice estimate, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.
After missing the Steelers' Week 11 game against the Jaguars, Samuels is not trending in the right direction for Thursday's Thanksgiving matchup with the Ravens. More clarity on his status should come as the week progresses.
The Steelers list Samuels (quadriceps) as out for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.
Pittsburgh will be down two running backs in Samuels and Trey Edmunds in Week 11, but both have been lightly used depth options behind the clear top three options on the roster (James Conner, Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland). Samuels will be inactive for the first time all season after logging only 56 offensive snaps and five touches through Pittsburgh's first nine games.
Samuels (quadriceps) didn't practice Wednesday.
Samuels came off the reserve/COVID-19 list before last week's win over the Bengals but didn't touch the ball on offense while registering one special teams tackle. He may have picked up the quadriceps injury in that return to action, but either way, Samuels will likely need to raise his practice participation over the next couple days in order to suit up Sunday in Jacksonville.
Samuels was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Samuels was activated off the list along with Ben Roethlisberger, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins and linebacker Vince Williams. Each was considered "high-risk" close contacts, but self-isolation and multiple negative tests will allow them to take the field Sunday against the Bengals. The receiving back has been a bit player in the offense this season, recording a total of 13 yards on five touches.
The Steelers placed Samuels on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Samuels and the other Steelers who were placed on the list Tuesday -- quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins and linebacker Vince Williams -- were designated as "high-risk" close contacts of a positive individual. All four players must self-isolate and test negative while exhibiting no symptoms of COVID-19 for five days before being eligible to return from the list Saturday. Even if Samuels is cleared ahead of Sunday's game against the Bengals, he won't be in store for a major role after playing fewer than 10 offensive snaps in all but one contest this season.
Samuels recorded one carry for five yards in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Titans.
Samuels led the Steelers' backup running backs as he was on the field for nine of a possible 79 snaps on offense against the Titans, but he touched the ball just once in the win. The 24-year-old has recorded just three carries over the first six games of 2020 as much of his work has come on special teams this year.
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.
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.
|1||Mon 09/14||@ NYG||W 26-16||1||2||0||1||1||0|
|2||Sun 09/20||vs DEN||W 26-21||0||0||0||1||4||0|
|3||Sun 09/27||vs HOU||W 28-21||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|5||Sun 10/11||vs PHI||W 38-29||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|6||Sun 10/18||vs CLE||W 38-7||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|7||Sun 10/25||@ TEN||W 27-24||1||5||0||0||0||0|
|8||Sun 11/01||@ BAL||W 28-24||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|9||Sun 11/08||@ DAL||W 24-19||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|10||Sun 11/15||vs CIN||W 36-10||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|11||Sun 11/22||@ JAC||L 27-3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|12||Wed 12/02||@ PIT||L 14-19||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|13||Mon 12/07||vs WAS||L 17-23||1||1||0||3||11||0|
|14||Sun 12/13||@ BUF||L 15-26||4||15||0||3||18||0|
|15||Mon 12/21||@ CIN||L 17-27||1||4||0||1||12||0|
|16||Sun 12/27||vs IND||W 28-24||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|17||Sun 01/03||@ CLE||L 22-24||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|18||Sun 01/10||vs CLE||L 37-48||0||0||0||0||0||0|
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