Samuels isn't a lock to make Pittsburgh's season-opening roster, Bob Labriola of the team's official site reports.
James Conner is the de facto starter -- though his injury issues afford minimal long-term security -- and it's essentially an open competition between the backs behind him. Samuels will be competing with Benny Snell, Kerrith Whyte and fourth-round rookie Anthony McFarland. Samuels struggled on the ground with 175 rushing yards on a 2.7 YPC last year, and he also caught 47 of 57 targets for 305 yards with two total touchdowns.
Samuels caught one of two targets for 16 yards in Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Ravens.
Playing in 14 games this season, Samuels struggled to run the ball effectively, finishing 2019 with 175 yards and a touchdown on 66 carries (2.7 YPC) compared to 256 yards on 56 attempts (4.6 YPC) in 2018. Conversely, his role in the passing game increased with Samuels catching 47 of 57 targets for 305 yards and a touchdown. He also completed four of five passes for 35 yards with an interception while occasionally lining up in wildcat formations due to the Steelers' issues at quarterback. Samuels' usage in 2020 will depend largely on the health of other players such as James Conner and Ben Roethlisberger, but he seems to have proven he's not a viable option in a lead role out of the backfield.
Samuels ran three times for seven yards and caught four passes for 32 yards in Sunday's 16-10 loss to the Jets.
James Conner's early exit due to a thigh injury resulted in Pittsburgh employing a backfield by committee approach. Samuels had the fewest carries but was the only running back utilized in the passing game with six targets. He has been held under 40 yards from scrimmage and has failed to score in four of the last five games.
Samuels lost one yard on two carries and caught his only target for five yards in Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Bills.
On a night when the entire offense struggled, Samuels had the worst game of his short career. With James Conner back on the field, Samuels fantasy value may be limited to that of an occasional receiver out of the backfield. Pittsburgh heads to New York in Week 16 to face a Jets defense that is tough against the run but has given up the fifth-most receptions to opposing running backs. That bodes well for Samuels in PPR formats, but he is still a risky play in what may be the championship game for many fantasy owners.
Samuels (groin) returned to practice Thursday as a full participant, saying he expects to play in Sunday's game against the Bills, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Samuels thus figures to handle some type of pass-catching role behind James Conner, who upgraded to full practice participation Wednesday after missing five of the past six games. Conner is the favorite to lead the team in carries if he plays, but it isn't quite clear how the snaps will shake out between him, Samuels, Benny Snell and Kerrith Whyte.
Samuels (groin) took part in practice Thursday, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.
Samuels' official activity level won't be revealed until Thursday's practice report is released, but the running back said he "feels good to go for Sunday" against the Bills. If he does suit up, he may not be much more than an available body on the sideline, as No. 1 RB James Conner (shoulder) practiced in full Wednesday and seems poised to return Sunday after missing five of the previous six games. In the end, Samuels may be no better than third on the depth chart behind Conner and Benny Snell Jr.
Samuels (groin) didn't practice Wednesday.
The groin injury Samuels suffered in Sunday's win over the Cardinals leaves his status for the Week 15 game against the Bills up in the air for the time being. Even if he gains clearance by the weekend, Samuels may be pushed into a smaller role anyway with top back James Conner (shoulder) seemingly on track to put an end to a three-game absence after opening the week as a full practice participant.
Samuels suffered a groin injury during the Steelers' Week 14 win at Arizona, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
With James Conner (shoulder) absent for the fifth time in six games this past Sunday, Samuels again split RB reps with Benny Snell Jr., earning a 47 percent share of the offensive snaps en route to nine touches for 34 yards from scrimmage. There's a belief Conner will return Sunday versus the Bills, so any sort of health concern for Samuels hurts his ability to retain a role once the Steelers' No. 1 RB is back in the saddle. Wednesday's injury report may set the tone for the upcoming state of this backfield.
Samuels ran seven times for 16 yards and caught both his targets for 18 yards in Pittsburgh's 23-17 win over Arizona on Sunday.
In the past three games Samuels has been outgained on the ground by both Benny Snell and Kerrith Whyte and may find his role reduced if James Conner (shoulder) returns to action in Week 15 as expected. Utilized mostly as a receiver out of the backfield, Samuels will face a Buffalo defense that has not allowed a running back to catch a touchdown pass since Week 3.
Samuels ran for 32 yards on seven carries and had two catches for 22 yards during Sunday's 20-13 win over the Browns.
Rookie Benny Snell continued to get the lion's share of the touches with James Conner (shoulder) out for the second consecutive week, but the sophomore back still managed to put up his third-highest yardage total of the season. Depending on Conner's health heading into Week 14 against the Cardinals, Samuels could have a really nice matchup as the pass-catcher in Pittsburgh's backfield. The Cardinals have struggled mightily against the pass this season and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's defenses have historically struggled to cover backs and tight ends.
Samuels carried two times for six yards and caught three passes for 26 additional yards during Sunday's 16-10 win over the Bengals.
With James Conner (shoulder) ruled out again, Samuels seemed poised for a prominent role against Cincinnati's vulnerable defense. He finished tied for fifth on the team in carries, however, and wasn't as heavily targeted in the passing game as many would've expected. Benny Snell returned from a knee injury to lead the team with 22 touches, and he appears to be the go-to option out of the backfield for as long as Conner remains sidelined. As such, Samuels isn't a particularly desirable fantasy option next Sunday against the Browns.
Samuels ran for 26 yards on five carries and caught five passes for 19 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh's 21-7 loss to Cleveland Thursday night.
Samuels had played 59 percent of Pittsburgh's offense snaps the past two games with James Conner (shoulder) out of commission, but just 23 percent in the four games they both took the field this season heading into this contest. With Conner returning to action against Cleveland, Samuels was expected to resume his role as backup but Conner was forced out of the game after he re-injured his shoulder. If Conner isn't ready for action in Week 12, Samuels would be looking at a prime matchup Nov. 24, with the 0-9 Bengals surrendering a league-high 173.0 yards per game on the ground.
Samuels carried the ball 14 times for 29 yards and caught three of seven targets for 11 yards in Sunday's 17-12 win over the Rams.
The running back couldn't get anything going either through the air or on the ground, and it's increasingly looking like Samuels can be a useful passing-down back and change-of-pace option, but not an effective lead RB. His role next week against the Browns will once again depend on the status of James Conner (shoulder).
Samuels and Trey Edmunds (ribs) will be the Steelers' primary running backs with James Conner (shoulder) and Benny Snell (knee) sidelined Sunday against the Rams, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports.
Conner and Snell were unable to practice with their respective injuries, while Edmunds didn't take the field until Friday due to a rib issue. If the breakdown of backfield reps looks the same this weekend as it did Week 9 against the Colts, Samuels will lead the way again after turning 21 touches into 83 yards from scrimmage. Meanwhile, Edmunds notched 12 carries for 73 yards in the same contest.
Samuels' teammate James Conner (shoulder) isn't expected to play in Sunday's game against the Rams, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
With Conner out of the lineup last week, Samuels had eight carries for 10 yards and 13 catches for 73 yards on 63 percent snap share, also losing a fumble in a 26-24 win over the Colts. Trey Edmunds (ribs) took 12 carries for 73 yards on 27 percent of snaps, but he picked up an injury that held him out of practice Wednesday. A Week 10 absence for Edmunds would leave undrafted rookie Tony Brooks-James as the only backfield alternative behind Samuels, who should get a bunch of touches regardless. The situation should clear up a bit by the end of the week.
Samuels carried eight times for 10 yards and caught all 13 of his targets for an additional 73 yards during Sunday's 26-24 win over the Colts. He also lost a fumble.
Returning from a knee injury, Samuels took over as the team's top pass-catching back with James Conner (shoulder) sidelined. Although he did little with his carries, he led the team in targets, catches and receiving yards while setting a new franchise record for receptions in a game by a running back. He lost a fumble that set up a Colts touchdown in the fourth quarter, but he was later trusted to help finish out the narrow victory. Trey Edmunds (ribs), who led the team in rushing in this one, was the latest back to suffer an injury, so Samuels could have an even larger role next Sunday at home against the Rams.
With both James Conner (shoulder) and Benny Snell (knee) inactive for Sunday's game against the Colts, Samuels is in line to head the Steelers' Week 9 backfield, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports.
Meanwhile, Trey Edmunds is on hand to work as the team's No. 2 backfield option, but Samuels -- who last suited up Oct. 6 -- is positioned to see as much work as he can handle Sunday, making him a favorable streaming option in Week 9 fantasy lineups.
Samuels took all the Steelers' first-team reps during Friday's practice and appears on track to start at running back Sunday against the Colts with James Conner (shoulder) listed as doubtful for the contest, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Samuels will enter the contest without a designation after practicing fully Wednesday through Friday following a three-week absence due to a knee scope. While Pittsburgh probably would have preferred to ease Samuels back into the mix in a change-of-pace role, injuries to Conner and third-stringer Benny Snell (knee) -- who is listed as out -- should put the North Carolina State product on tap for a significant snap share in Week 9. Samuels demonstrated a high floor over his three starts in place of an injured Conner in 2018, averaging 14 carries for 74.3 yards and four receptions for 35 yards in those contests.
Samuels (knee) practiced fully Wednesday.
Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com relays that Samuels is ready to play in Sunday's game against the Colts, which is a well-timed development, given that both James Conner (shoulder) and Benny Snell (knee) sat out Wednesday's practice. Samuels, who didn't play two days earlier in the Steelers' win over Miami, has been giving a clean bill of health following his recovery from a knee scope. He could end up having a prominent role in the Steelers' Week 9 attack, especially given the current statuses of the other backs on the roster.
Coach Mike Tomlin called Samuels (knee) "ready to go" for Sunday's contest against the Colts, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
After sandwiching two absences around the Steelers' Week 7 bye, Samuels is suddenly the healthiest of the team's top three running backs, with James Conner suffering an AC joint injury and Benny Snell emerging with a knee issue from Monday's win over the Dolphins. Tomlin's comments don't officially clear Samuels to return, but Wednesday's injury report could indicate he's healthy enough to suit up Week 9.
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