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WFT Star WR Suffers Injury Setback

After early week optimism, two steps forward and one step back for WFT's new receiver

The week started with excitement and anticipation as Curtis Samuel returned to practice for the Washington Football Team. Nobody made any promises, but the ceiling for WFT's offense in 2021 certainly feels tied to Samuel being able to contribute at some point in the season. 

Head coach Ron Rivera has long focused on Samuel's long-term viability to the team versus short-term gains by rushing him back onto the field, and after suffering an apparent setback on Wednesday those waiting to see No. 10 on the field may have to wait a bit longer.

"We'll continue to monitor him," Rivera said after Wednesday's practice. "We'll see how he is tomorrow. He came out, warmed up, wasn't feeling quite as well as we'd hoped he would." 

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Like the tweet suggests, it's never good to see an athlete of Samuel's caliber displaying that type of negative body language. 

Samuel lightly runs through a route with no opposing player to inhibit his progress, makes the smallest of cuts, and then pulls up with obvious pain and angst. 

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Several observers also noted he was later seen being stretched by a team trainer, and never returned to the field for any physical drills or activities. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media also tweeted Wednesday afternoon that Samuel was listed as a non-participant for Wednesday's practice, "...after he tweaked a groin while warming up."

This would constitute aggravation of the previously existing groin injury which kept Samuel out of every preseason game, and part of what has those around the team wondering just how effective the offense can be in 2021. 

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Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's offense now looks more likely than not to be without the second wide receiver on their depth chart, which would likely lead to increased work for rookie Dyami Brown and fellow free-agent signee Adam Humphries. 

The good news there is that Brown has looked solid in limited exposure during the preseason, and Humphries has a great rapport with Fitzpatrick dating back to their years together with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

With pass-rusher Joey Bosa, star safety Derwin James and the Los Angeles Chargers coming to town, WFT would ideally have Samuel on the field with Terry McLaurin and its full compliment of offensive weapons. But with this apparent setback and Rivera's notion to play it safe, it seems now more likely than before that Samuel will miss at least the first week of the 2021 NFL Season.