|Ht / Wt:||5'11" / 225 lb.|
|Born:||July 20, 1996|
|Drafted:||2018 / Rd. 5 (165)|
Samuels has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Samuels will join his teammates as practice begins in earnest, thus far having mostly missed out on classroom work and conditioning/strength training. Ed Boucehtte of The Athletic recently suggested Samuels isn't a lock for the regular-season roster, noting that there's tough competition for one or two spots after starter James Conner and rookie fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland. The Steelers also have 2019 fourth-rounder Benny Snell, veteran Wendell Smallwood and 2019 contributors Kerrith Whyte and Trey Edmunds. The final job could come down to special teams value, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for Samuels.
Samuels doesn't appear to be a lock for a roster spot, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: James Conner and rookie fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland are locks, with 2019 fourth-rounder Benny Snell perhaps not too far behind. Samuels is a competent pass catcher who plays special teams and can even line up at tight end or H-back in a pinch, but that won't necessarily assure him of a roster spot, as the Steelers could instead choose Kerrith Whyte, Wendell Smallwood or Trey Edmunds. Currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Samuels isn't able to make his case at the moment.
The Steelers have placed Samuels on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Analysis: The list was created for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or who have been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person. Samuels, who is entering his third season with the Steelers, is looking to secure a role in team's backfield behind presumed starter James Conner.
Samuels isn't a lock to make Pittsburgh's season-opening roster, Bob Labriola of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: James Conner is the de facto starter -- though his injury issues afford minimal long-term security -- and it's essentially an open competition between the backs behind him. Samuels will be competing with Benny Snell, Kerrith Whyte and fourth-round rookie Anthony McFarland. Samuels struggled on the ground with 175 rushing yards on a 2.7 YPC last year, and he also caught 47 of 57 targets for 305 yards with two total touchdowns.
Samuels caught one of two targets for 16 yards in Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Ravens.
Analysis: Playing in 14 games Samuels struggled to run the ball in his sophomore season finishing 2019 with 175 yards and a touchdown on 66 carries (2.7 YPC) compared to 256 yards on 56 attempts (4.6 YPC) in 2018. Conversely his role in the passing game increased with Samuels catching 47 of 57 targets for 305 yards and a touchdown compared to 26 of 29 for 199 yards and three scores last season. He also completed four of five passes for 35 yards with an interception. Samuels has two years remaining on his rookie contract.
Samuels ran three times for seven yards and caught four passes for 32 yards in Sunday's 16-10 loss to the Jets.
Analysis: James Conner's early exit (thigh) resulted in Pittsburgh employing a backfield by committee approach. Samuels had the fewest carries but was the only running back utilized in the passing game with six targets. He has been held under 40 yards from scrimmage and failed to score in four of the last five games. Pittsburgh suffered a 26-23 overtime loss to Baltimore in Week 5 in which Samuels was limited to two yards on three carries and 11 yards on three receptions.
Samuels lost one yard on two carries and caught his only target for five yards in Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Bills.
Analysis: On a night when the entire offense struggled Samuels had the worst game of his short career. With James Conner back on the field Samuels fantasy value may be limited to that of a receiver out of the backfield. Pittsburgh heads to New York in Week 16 to face a Jets defense that is tough against the run but gives up the fifth most receptions to opposing running backs. That bodes well for Samuels in PPR formats but he is still a risky play in what may be the championship game for many fantasy owners.
Samuels (groin) returned to practice Thursday as a full participant, saying he expects to play in Sunday's game against the Bills, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Samuels thus figures to handle some type of pass-catching role behind James Conner, who upgraded to full practice participation Wednesday after missing five of the past six games. Conner is the favorite to lead the team in carries if he plays, but it isn't quite clear how the snaps will shake out between him, Samuels, Benny Snell and Kerrith Whyte.
Samuels (groin) took part in practice Thursday, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports.
Analysis: Samuels' official activity level won't be revealed until Thursday's practice report is released, but the running back said he "feels good to go for Sunday" against the Bills. If he does suit up, he may not be much more than an available body on the sideline, as No. 1 RB James Conner (shoulder) practiced in full Wednesday and seems poised to return Sunday after missing five of the previous six games. In the end, Samuels may be no better than third on the depth chart behind Conner and Benny Snell Jr.
Samuels (groin) didn't practice Wednesday.
Analysis: The groin injury Samuels suffered this past Sunday against the Cardinals leaves his Week 15 status up in the air, but on the plus side, top back James Conner -- who has missed three straight games with a shoulder injury -- returned to a full practice Wednesday.
Samuels suffered a groin injury during the Steelers' Week 14 win at Arizona, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: With James Conner (shoulder) absent for the fifth time in six games this past Sunday, Samuels again split RB reps with Benny Snell, earning a 47-percent share of the offensive snaps en route to nine touches for 34 yards from scrimmage. There's a belief Conner will return Sunday versus the Bills, so any sort of health concern for Samuels hurts his ability to retain a role once the Steelers' No. 1 RB is back in the saddle. Wednesday's injury report may set the tone for the upcoming state of this backfield.
Samuels ran seven times for 16 yards and caught both his targets for 18 yards in Pittsburgh's 23-17 win over Arizona on Sunday.
Analysis: In the past three games Samuels has been outgained on the ground by both Benny Snell and Kerrith Whyte and may find his role reduced if James Conner (shoulder) returns to action in Week 15 as expected. Utilized mostly as a receiver out of the backfield Samuels will face a Buffalo defense that has not allowed a running back to catch a touchdown pass since Week 3.
Samuels ran for 32 yards on seven carries and had two catches for 22 yards during Sunday's 20-13 win over the Browns.
Analysis: Rookie Benny Snell continued to get the lion's share of the touches with James Conner (shoulder) out for the second consecutive week, but the sophomore back still managed to put up his third-highest yardage total of the season. Depending on Conner's health heading into Week 14 against the Cardinals, Samuels could have a really nice matchup as the pass-catcher in Pittsburgh's backfield. The Cardinals have struggled mightily against the pass this season and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's defenses have historically struggled to cover backs and tight ends.
Samuels carried two times for six yards and caught three passes for 26 additional yards during Sunday's 16-10 win over the Bengals.
Analysis: With James Conner (shoulder) ruled out again, Samuels seemed poised for a prominent role against Cincinnati's vulnerable defense. He finished tied for fifth on the team in carries, however, and wasn't as heavily-targeted in the passing game as many would've expected. Benny Snell resurfaced to lead the team with 22 touches and appears to be the go-to option out of the backfield for as Conner remains sidelined. As such, Samuels isn't a particularly desirable fantasy option next Sunday against the Browns.
Samuels ran for 26 yards on five carries and caught five passes for 19 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh's 21 - 7 loss to Cleveland Thursday night.
Analysis: Samuels had played 59 percent of Pittsburgh's offense snaps the past two games with James Conner (shoulder) out of commission but just 23 percent in the four games they both took the field this season heading into this contest. With Conner returning to action against Cleveland Samuels was expected to resume his role as back-up but Conner was forced out of the game after he reinjured his shoulder. Samuels faces the Bengals in Week 12. In the Week 4 game between these teams Samuels looked more like former Steeler Kordell "Slash" Stewart running for 26 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries while catching eight passes for 57 yards and completing 3 of 3 passes for 31 yards. While the likelihood of a repeat performance is low Samuels could still be a factor on offense, especially if Conner is unable to play.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Samuels suffered a left knee injury in Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the Ravens, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports. Samuels had a knee scope and is expected to be sidelined at least one month.
Analysis: Samuels was spotted moving about with the assistance of crutches Tuesday and will presumably be unable to even practice in any capacity until after the Steelers' bye in Week 7. While the 23-year-old is sidelined, rookie Benny Snell will step into the No. 2 role in the backfield behind starter James Conner. There's also a decent likelihood that Conner takes on increased reps as well after Samuels played at least 25 percent of the offensive snaps in each of the Steelers' first five contests.
Samuels rushed three times for two yards and caught three of four targets for 11 yards in Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the Ravens. He also completed one of two passes for four yards and an interception.
Analysis: The trick plays on offense that led the Steelers to their first win in Week 4 contributed to their demise in Week 5. On the three plays in which Samuels took the direct snap he ran for a five-yard loss, threw an interception and completed a pass to Dionte Johnson that lost eight yards. The latter was salvaged only when Johnson lateraled to Johnny Holton, who advanced the ball 12 yards. The Steelers may want to deploy a more traditional game plan when they face the Chargers in Week 6.
Samuels rushed for 26 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries, adding eight catches for 57 yards on eight targets in Monday night's 27-3 win over Cincinnati.
Analysis: Pittsburgh resorted to some trickery to earn their first win of the season, with Samuels lining up as the quarterback in wildcat formations multiple times. Taking the direct snap, he hit pay dirt from two yards out and completed all three of his pass attempts for another 31 yards. Samuels had no touches in Week 3 so many fantasy owners probably held him out of their lineups but if this is how the Steelers plan to use him moving forward his fantasy value increases significantly, especially in deep leagues. He faces division rival Baltimore in Week 5.
Samuels had no touches in Sunday's 24-20 loss to San Francisco.
Analysis: Earlier in the week there was talk that Samuels might see an increased workload due to James Conner dealing with a knee injury but that was not the case. With the offense struggling Samuels is little more than a roster stash in deep leagues heading into Pittsburgh's Week 4 game against Cincinnati.
Samuels rushed three times for 18 yards and caught his lone target for 13 more in Sunday's 28-26 loss to the Seahawks.
Analysis: Samuels' stat line was nothing special, but the bigger news here was that starting running back James Conner exited in the second half with a knee injury. While the extent of Conner's injury is not yet known, Samuels and rookie fourth-rounder Benny Snell would be in line for increased roles should Conner need to miss any time moving forward. Samuels started three games in Conner's absence last season, including a 142-yard rushing performance against the Patriots.
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