Curtis Samuel's camp limitations have 'nothing to do with' 2021 groin issue

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Samuel's camp limitations have 'nothing to do with' groin issue originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Curtis Samuel's 2022 training camp began with two straight days of full practice, which wouldn't be news for most players but did qualify as a significant development for a receiver who missed so much time in 2021.

Unfortunately, he's been trending in the wrong direction since.

On Monday, Samuel was a non-participant in practice, which followed an off day. In the two sessions on Friday and Saturday, meanwhile, Samuel dressed but didn't do nearly as much as he did to begin camp.

Ron Rivera provided an update on the almost-26-year-old in his daily press conference.

"I know he and [head trainer Al Bellamy] talked a little bit and there was some concern as far as his overall football conditioning and shape," Rivera explained. "You can train all you want, you can condition all you want, but coming back and doing some of the things we want to do, you've got to be smart with it."

Rivera later made sure to emphasize that this isn't directly related to the season-long ailment Samuel had a year ago. Instead, it's more him getting his wind back since he was so inactive in his debut campaign with the Washington Commanders.

"This has nothing to do with last year's groin injury," Rivera said.

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According to Rivera, Samuel has told the team that his hamstrings and lower back have felt "sore and tight." So, Samuel and Bellamy got together to discuss an approach for the coming weeks that'll hopefully put Samuel in a position to suit up for Week 1 and well beyond.

"There'll be ramp-ups and then they'll slow it down, there'll be ramp-ups, there'll be times when he's interacting and getting some 11-on-11 work," Rivera said. "But it's all part of the plan [and] the ultimate goal is really the regular season."

In an interview last week with the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan, the Commanders' coach admitted that the club "might've pushed Curtis a little too much" in 2021 as he constantly battled a groin issue that originated in OTAs. Samuel only appeared in five contests and logged just six catches.

On Monday, Rivera sounded like a guy hyper-focused on not making that mistake again this time around.

"This is all about the plan," he told reporters.

"We're going to stick with the plan," he reiterated later.

The action at Ashburn has featured moments of brilliance courtesy of Samuel, yet it remains a mystery when those moments will become more prolonged stretches, as lining up for three consecutive practices has proven to be too much so far.