Doubting Curtis Samuel?..Don't call it a comeback.
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March 17th, 2021 the then, Washington Football Team made a splash in free agency.
If everyone is being honest, we all loved the move. Those that didn't like the move had probably just purchased a Dontrelle Inman jersey or maybe were rooting for Jeff Badet to finally make his mark deep down the field.
Curtis was everything that makes for a great free agent:
3. Ascending player
Social media was abuzz with excitement about how Samuel would be used in this offense. How many snaps would he spend in the backfield ? Is he going to be in the slot? Will they motion him out wide? Those were all common questions, debates and arguments at the time. Finally! Terry had a #2 WR to give him some help.
So what happened? 06.08.21 happened...Technically Samuel was injured the week before but the 8th was when it was first widely reported that he had "tweaked a groin". We'd later find out that Samuel "tweaked" his groin in the same way the Liberty Bell was "tweaked" somewhere between 1835 and 1846.
Throughout the remainder of the offseason the reports about his health felt disingenuous as report after report would tell us how minor the injury was even though he never actually returned to practice. This is where fans began to sour on Curtis. It wasn't really his fault but nobody likes to be made to feel stupid. Fans could obviously tell something was wrong but they were being told he was fine.
Then came the false hope in early September..
only for him to be re-injured 2 days later .
and placed on IR a few days later.
The rest of the season for Samuel went on to become an infuriating game of "Will he/ Won't he"?. Fans continued to watch week after week waiting for Samuel to finally return and while he did for a few non-impactful games, he never truly came back.
As infuriating as his 2021 injury situation was, it's important to separate the injury and all of the animosity around it from the player who has been extremely productive in his time in the NFL.
Those of you who are overly concerned about Samuel's durability should note that, since Terry came into the league, Samuel has played in more regular season games than Terry, until last season. The likelihood of Samuel experiencing a second consecutive injury riddled season is extremely low.
Look, if you're upset at the situation around Curtis last year then I get it.If you hate the phrase "side field" i'm with you. If you're frustrated by the infertility of the wide receivers last year, I understand. If there is some doubt about wether the first year of his contract was worth it, I can dig it.
However, dismissing his talent and potential in an offense who's second best receiver was a running back seems a bit disingenuous. No one can guarantee a successful outcome but expecting failure for Samuel is fear of retrogression. Samuel has always been successful whenever he has played. He will be successful again and when he is, let's park our disdain for Curtis on the side field in Ashburn.