Rivera, Washington won't be putting Curtis Samuel on I.R.

Curtis Samuel

Ron Rivera told reporters Friday that, once again, Curtis Samuel will be inactive for the Washington Football Team, this time for their game in Denver. That'll be Samuel's sixth absence on the year.

By comparison, he's tallied just four receptions. 

Despite the receiver's inability to shake a groin injury that dates all the way back to late May, Rivera went on to explain in his final press conference of the week that Samuel is not a candidate to land on injured reserve right now.

"If you put him on I.R., you lose him for the rest of the year," Rivera said. "We're hoping that giving him a little bit of time, work a little bit more on his conditioning, we'll be able to have him down the stretch."

Asking Rivera questions regarding Samuel has turned into a tradition on the beat, and last Friday, Rivera identified Samuel's training camp stint on the COVID-19 list as a major hiccup in his recovery. Being apart from the training staff for 10 days at the end of summer was crucial, according to the coach.

This time around, though, Samuel's usage in Atlanta in Week 4 — the only contest that he really participated in for the Burgundy and Gold — was brought up by Rivera as another harmful factor.

"Unfortunately, that set him back a little bit more," Rivera explained. "Because of that, we've had to be really careful. As I said, this stretch run coming after the bye, we'd like to have him for that."


Injuries to Dyami Brown and Cam Sims late in the Falcons game forced Samuel to take a few more snaps than he was slated for, for those who don't remember, and those additional reps were apparently very costly.

So, Washington will face off versus the Broncos with Terry McLaurin and a collection of fine but not overly helpful role players like Sims, Adam Humphries and Dax Milne. Samuel, meanwhile, will take the weekend off ahead of the franchise's bye. Maybe that'll be the layoff he needs to eventually return?

Well, with how endless Samuel's rehab has been, it's hard to be optimistic about that. It sounds like Samuel is having a hard time himself maintaining a positive outlook, too. 

"He is frustrated as anybody," Rivera said.

He is undoubtedly not alone in that frustration.