Video of an NFL player running typically doesn't generate any sort of hype, much like footage of a customer service representative answering the phone fails to create much excitement. When people do what's expected of them in their jobs, it's not that newsworthy.
Curtis Samuel, though, is currently an exception to that, thanks to how poorly his first year in Washington went. The wideout suffered a groin injury in OTAs that flummoxed the team throughout the offseason and regular season, spent time on both the Physically Unable to Perform list and injured reserve and generally was unable to execute basic duties of his gig such as moving around at a decent speed.
Therefore, when Samuel is spotted exerting himself in some way, it should matter to Commanders fans, at least for the time being. Last Friday, evidence of him doing just that was posted on social media:
In that video, which came from an Instagram account belonging to Florida-based trainer Pete Bommarito, Samuel runs what looks to be about 20 yards while wearing a resistance band around his waist.
No, the receiver doesn't take a hit. No, he doesn't sprint for more than a couple of seconds. And no, it's really not all that impressive of a clip.
But it is SOMETHING.
Samuel's 2021 was defined by starts and stops; just as he seemed to be turning a corner in terms of his health, he'd suffer a setback in practice or have to leave a game early. From there, he'd be relegated to the injury report and the sidelines while Ron Rivera was left to deal with mounting questions from the media about Samuel's status.
So, the fact that Samuel feels good enough to be participating in these kinds of drills is a positive development, even if it's the smallest positive development in the history of positive developments. The Commanders must add to their offense in the upcoming draft, but Rivera recently indicated that he's counting on contributors like Samuel to make the unit more dynamic, too.
"You've got some guys that'll be coming back off of injury and you feel pretty good about it if we can keep everybody healthy and ready to roll," Rivera said a week ago. "I think we've got some pretty good pieces."
Many will scoff at the idea of trusting Samuel based on one snippet of offseason work and that's definitely understandable. He's got a long way to go when it comes to earning the team and the fan base's trust.
He can't go about accomplishing that, however, if his groin is still bothering him and that fortunately doesn't appear to be the case. Being on the road to redemption is far better than being on the mend, after all.