The Washington Football Team may have received bad news on the injury front on Wednesday morning, just days before they’re set to kick off their 2021 campaign against the Los Angeles Chargers. According to multiple reports, wide receiver Curtis Samuel was listed as a non-participant at Wednesday’s practice after tweaking his groin during warm-ups. His status for Sunday’s afternoon game is now in question.
If Samuel is unable to play in Week 1, it would likely thrust one of Dyami Brown or Cam Sims into a starting role on the outside with Adam Humphries continuing to operate out of his usual position in the slot. Brown is a third-round rookie and Sims is a 25-year-old receiver that totaled 32 catches for 477 yards and a single touchdown a year ago.
The ceiling is high for Brown, who was a dynamic pass-catcher at North Carolina in 2020, but asking him to play early and often in his first career NFL game would be a tall request to say the least. Sims would probably receive the bulk of the work, but we could see a scenario where both Brown and Sims play a healthy amount of snaps should Samuel have to sit this one out.
Look, Samuel is a great player and in an ideal world, you’d have him on the field this Sunday. That’s why general manager Martin Mayhew and head coach Ron Rivera paid him $34.5 million to come play his football in Washington in the first place. But I’m about to tell you something that I haven’t felt comfortable saying in recent years: Washington now has the horses on offense to fight through losing somebody like Samuel, at least in the short term.
I’m excited to watch this Washington offense in 2021. I really am. They finally have something they haven’t had in a long time, and that’s a quarterback that’s willing to push the ball downfield. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the perfect fit for this offense. He’s the anti-Alex Smith. Or the anti-Dwayne Haskins. Sadly, I can go on and on about Washington’s last few quarterbacks, but that’s in the past now. Fitzpatrick is here and he’s surrounded by some incredibly fun weapons. He has one of the best young receivers in the league in Terry McLaurin, an ascending running back in Antonio Gibson, an exciting tight end in Logan Thomas that’s still scratching the surface of his potential, a capable slot receiver in Humphries, and another pass-catching weapon in the form of backup running back J.D. McKissic. Let’s. Freaking. Go.
Potentially losing Samuel for Week 1 isn’t going to stop this Washington team from moving the ball on a Chargers defense that has a lot to prove in 2021. Yes, the Chargers had some injuries last year and have a new defensive-minded head coach in Brandon Staley, but I still expect Washington to put up a fair amount of points on them this Sunday.
Washington will hope to get positive news regarding Samuel’s injury status ahead of Sunday’s contest, but they should feel good about their offense heading into the game, with or without Samuel.
Check out Dyami Brown’s full scouting report here.