The excitement about the return of Greg Olsen was tempered, as the Panthers also placed rookie receiver Curtis Samuel on season-ending injured reserve. Samuel, who fractured his ankle vs. Miami, underwent successful surgery head coach Ron Rivera told reporters, including ESPN’s David Newton (Twitter link).
Rivera stated now that the surgery is complete, Samuel can expect a lengthy rehab before returning to the field. “It’s going to be a long rehab, obviously, especially because it happened this late in the season,” Rivera said. “But all indications are it went well.”
Since Carolina traded Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills at the deadline, the Ohio State product has seen his playing time increase as a featured receiver alongside Devin Funchess. Before suffering the injury, Samuel produced his best game of the season with five grabs on seven targets for 45 yards. He was praised by quarterback Cam Newton, who said he was “on the cusp,” and offensive coordinator Mike Shula said there were “lots of good things” from Samuel before sustaining the injury.
Samuel finished his season with 19 receptions for 115 yards and 64 rushing yards on four carries.
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