One week after making his long-anticipated debut with the Washington Football Team, wide receiver Curtis Samuel played just five offensive snaps on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints before exiting the game with a groin injury that's been bothering him since June.
On Monday, Ron Rivera was asked about Samuel's status moving forward. Washington's head coach referred to the wideout's injury as a "week-to-week" concern.
"He's going to be on a week-to-week basis. What we have to do with Curtis is stick to the plan, continue to work him," Rivera said.
Against New Orleans, Samuel was pulled early on after he felt his groin tightening up, according to Rivera. Washington chose to take the safer route with Samuel, pulling him for the rest of the game.
"We're not going to put him out there and expose him to an even more serious injury," Rivera said. "So we're just going to continue to be smart with it and hopefully, it will settle in and he'll be ready to go."
In Week 4 against Atlanta, Samuel played 25 offensive snaps and said he felt fine afterward. Yet, the speedy pass-catcher did not participate in practice on Wednesday or Thursday before returning in a limited fashion during Friday's session.
Samuel was not the only Washington wideout to be sidelined, as neither rookie Dyami Brown nor veteran Cam Sims suited up this past week with knee and hamstring injuries, respectively. On Sunday, DeAndre Carter -- who began the season as the Burgundy and Gold's No. 5 receiver, at best -- played the second-most snaps of any Washington wideout.
Besides Carter, rookie Dax Milne also played a significant amount (34 snaps) for the first time in his career. Veteran Adam Humphries played 51 offensive snaps, too, and finished with a nice outing of three receptions for 73 yards.
"In the meantime [without Samuel], some other guys might get a few more opportunities," Rivera said. "You guys saw DeAndre [Carter] get a few more. Dax Milne got some. Hump[fries] came up big and made some plays for us as well. That's how we have to approach it."
Later on during his Zoom session, Rivera was asked if there was any update on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 38-year-old began the season as Washington's starter but hurt his hip in the second quarter of the team's Week 1 loss to the Chargers, an injury that has sidelined him since.
"He's been around every day, doing his rehab and doing the things he needs to," Rivera said. "He's progressing."
The head coach kept it short, but Rivera didn't offer any indication that Fitzpatrick would return anytime soon. The initial reports suggested that Fitzpatrick would be out 6-8 weeks -- the injury occurred four weeks ago.
For now, the Taylor Heinicke show will continue for Washington under center, even if his outing against New Orleans was the worst of his four starts this season.
"He did some good things early on. He missed some throws early on, but he made some terrific plays," Rivera said on Heinicke. "Let's not forget, this dude's only [had] six starts. there's going to be some growing pains. There's going to be some angst. But right now, we're going to live with it because that's where we are."