Washington receiver Curtis Samuel appears to have suffered a setback in his months-long recovery from a groin injury.
Samuel, who returned to practice as a full participant this week for the first time since injuring his groin in early June, appeared to pull up lame while running a route during Wednesday's practice, resulting in his early exit.
NBC Sports Washington cameraman Mitch Tischler captured the moment on video, showing a clearly disheartened Samuel pulling off his helmet and walking off the field at the end of a route. Samuel then joined head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion on the side field.
Samuel officially returned to practice on Aug. 15 after being activated off the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but until this week had been limited to individual drills. Monday marked his return to practice as a full participant, his first padded practice since he sustained the injury.
Prior to his return this week, Samuel had been out since early June after first injuring his groin during OTAs.
It's unclear at this time if Samuel's latest setback will force him to miss Washington's Week 1 season-opener this coming Sunday against the Chargers.
Samuel figures to have a huge role in Washington's offense but has yet to be given the opportunity to show it, due to injury. The 25-year-old signed a three-year, $34.5 million contract with Washington this offseason.
Head coach Ron Rivera has preached patience, cautioning reporters not to jump to conclusions about the severity of Samuel's injury even as he's missed significant practice time, insisting that speed guys just need a little extra time to recover from groin injuries. The fear is that Washington may have been hoping that extra time would help them avoid a more severe approach to Samuel's recovery.
Rivera has also insisted that despite this being Samuel's first season in Washington, his familiarity with the offense — as someone who worked with offensive coordinator Scott Turner previously in Carolina — should curtail his learning curve.
At least for now, it appears Samuel's status for Sunday's game, at the very least, could be in jeopardy.
Rivera addressed Samuel's status after practice, allowing only that it's undecided if he'll be a go for Sunday.