Curtis Samuel made only one catch in Monday's win over the Seahawks, that catch only totaled nine yards and he took one hell of a bump at the end of it. After, though, he bounced up and threw his arms over his head in an effort to draw some noise from the FedEx Field fans, celebrating as if the grab generated much more than a new set of downs for Washington.
As he explained on Wednesday, that's because the sequence was actually very personal for him.
"I didn't go too far, but I felt the energy as I caught the ball," Samuel said in a press conference. "I got hit pretty good, but I got up to show the crowd that I'm still here, get everybody fired up, shake that one off."
The contest with Seattle was Samuel's first action since Week 5 and the first time he was really involved in a game since Week 4, as he finally was healthy enough to be in uniform as opposed to inactive or on injured reserve because of his long-standing groin injury.
Now, while he still was kept on a "pitch count" — he was on the field for 20 snaps — Samuel sounded quite pleased Wednesday when discussing his outing and describing where he's currently at physically. Nearly every answer he gave was an optimistic response.
"It was actually one of the first times I actually was able to go out there and play without even thinking about, 'What happens if I make a cut?'" he said.
"We saw Curtis's explosiveness and the potential," Ron Rivera told reporters after the Monday victory. "It's coming. The more he gets back into the swing of things, the better he's going to get for us."
A key reason why Samuel was more sure of himself is because of an injection he received a few weeks ago. To him, that was a real turning point in his recovery and has made a noticeable difference.
"I felt like I was able to cut and do more without so much pain," Samuel said about the injection's impact. "It was really tough last couple of weeks just trying to be able to run around and do stuff without having that pain. That helped a lot, it gave me the confidence to go out there last week during practice and be able to play in the game, feel good and feel confident."
As for what's to come, Samuel acknowledged that the "plan is definitely to do more," and he should presumably see his pitch count increase until it eventually goes away entirely. His return, as well as the addition of a healed Logan Thomas, will be supremely useful as Washington hopes to make the playoffs for a second-straight year.
Those are things that'll show up in the near future. In the present, though, it was obvious how much more relaxed Samuel is now that he's — hopefully — finished with an issue that marred so much of his first season with the franchise.
"At the beginning, it was tough, just because I wanted to make such a huge impact coming to this team," he said. "Now, I'm pretty much at ease because I really can help my team."