Chargers CB Asante Samuel Jr. ‘very close’ to returning to football field

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The Chargers have been without a key piece of their secondary the last four games.

Rookie Asante Samuel Jr. has been out since suffering a concussion in the Week 11 win over the Steelers.

While he hasn’t been cleared of concussion protocol, Samuel has been practicing in a limited capacity, and Brandon Staley confirmed that he happened to be close to playing this past Thursday against the Chiefs.

“As soon as that last hurdle is cleared, then he’ll be ready to play, Staley said when asked Samuel would return. “Last week was a really good sign for him. He’s very close to being out there for us.”

Given that this was Samuel’s second concussion of the season, Staley wants to be extra cautious before putting him back on the field.

As the Chargers reach the season’s final three games with the postseason in sight, Samuel’s presence will be vital the rest of the way out.

In nine games, Samuel has 31 tackles, seven passes defensed, and two interceptions.