Ron Rivera, WFT won't adjust approach with Curtis Samuel yet


When the Washington Football Team signed wide receiver Curtis Samuel this offseason, the belief was that he'd routinely make plays for the offense and constantly show up all over the box score.

Instead, Samuel has routinely made the injury report and constantly shown up on the inactive list for the franchise up to this point.

On Friday, Ron Rivera ruled out Samuel for this weekend's game in Green Bay against the Packers. It'll be the fifth time in seven contests that the receiver's groin issue prevents him from suiting up.

Despite the stalled rehab, Rivera told reporters in a press conference that he doesn't anticipate putting Samuel on injured reserve for a second time or drastically alternating the plan for his recovery.

"I've been around him, I know that eventually with him he'll be back out there," Rivera said. "It's just unfortunate that the injury cropped up the way it did and then happened again."

Samuel was absent for the Burgundy and Gold's first three appearances of the year due to his stint on I.R. He then returned and contributed in Atlanta before hurting himself versus the Saints. That's why he missed the matchup with the Chiefs last week and will be on the sidelines at Lambeau Field, too.

When reviewing Samuel's situation, Rivera referenced how he believed the wideout's time on the COVID-19 list during training camp was especially detrimental to his health. Even though that occurred back in training camp, Rivera maintains that it changed the whole equation for the key free agent pickup because it interrupted the treatment of his groin.


"Not being able to work with the training staff at that point, that was tough," Rivera said. "If you're not really able to do the things you need to do, it pretty much has created this situation. Unfortunately, we don't have him."

While Samuel's status is officially decided — along with Brandon Scherff and Sam Cosmi, who'll also be held out — Antonio Gibson (shin) and William Jackson III (knee) are both questionable for the meeting with the Packers. Gibson, however, expressed confidence about his availability for Washington.

"It's feeling way better," Gibson said about his injury. "Got some practice in [Thursday], got some practice in today and I feel good."

Gibson saw just 23 snaps during Kansas City's visit to FedEx Field and relayed that a defender landed on his shin, which caused a lot of pain. He went on to admit that he certainly underestimated the toll that playing running back would take on him and that he's often frustrated by his nagging ailments, yet he's not asking anyone for pity, either.

"That's a football season for you," Gibson said. "Take it, go with it, treat it the best you can and go out there and be the best for your teammates."