Two of Washington’s biggest potential offensive threats had their 2021 campaigns shortened by injuries. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel and tight end Logan Thomas collectively appeared in just 11 games for the Burgundy & Gold last season, so anticipation for their return to the field has been ramping up over the offseason.
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera spoke on both players’ statuses on Monday in a pre-draft press conference. First, Curtis Samuel.
“[He’s looking] good. It’s good to see him here,” Rivera said. “We haven’t been able to go out on the field and watch these guys work yet, by rule, but just listening to what the strength and conditioning guys are telling us about him coming in and looking really good, moving around really well. We do get to watch the workout stuff that we do get to video, and when you do see him moving around, you feel pretty confident about it.”
Samuel signed a three-year, $34.5 million deal with Washington just over a year ago. Nagging muscle injuries, particularly in his groin, derailed his inaugural season in D.C. and limited him to contributing just 38 total yards. Looking ahead to year two in Washington, Samuel’s health could have a huge impact on the caliber of their offense behind Terry McLaurin, as the coaching staff could utilize the former Panther in a Deebo Samuel-type role as a hybrid receiver-running back.
Logan Thomas was one of the most productive tight ends in football before injuries plagued his 2021 campaign. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 13 in Las Vegas, though he also recently told the Sports Junkies he’s hoping to be ready for Week 1 of 2022.
Rivera provided another update on Thomas in conjunction with what the Commanders could plan to do in terms of drafting offensive weapons later this week.
“We expect Logan to be back, ready to roll at some point next season,” Rivera said. “Looking forward to having him back on the football field for what he means to us. We continue with Curtis and keep getting him stronger and healthier and ready to roll. It could be exciting, could be fun, but we’re gonna address this as we go through the draft—on what player that’s available we feel could impact us.”
A healthy offensive core of McLaurin, Samuel, Thomas, Antonio Gibson, and J.D. McKissic would already provide Carson Wentz with plenty of options in 2022. Should the Commanders elect to snag a wideout in the draft, even in the later rounds, that would provide even more depth if the injury bug bites the Burgundy & Gold again.