Biggs: Samuels is optimistic about returning, or is he?

Chris Samuels says he is optimistic that he can continue his career next season with the Washington Redskins, but if he doesn’t strap on a helmet again, he’ll walk away from the game without any regrets. It sounds like he’s sending mixed messages, and that’s understandable.

The six-time Pro Bowl left tackle was shut down for the season after suffering a stinger on Oct. 11 at Carolina. On Tuesday, he was at FedEx Field helping pass out turkeys for the holiday to Prince Georges County, Md., residents.

“At this point, I haven't put my career (in the) past tense,’’ Samuels said. “I'm still optimistic about playing again. But one thing about it: I'm not fearful. Right now my spirits are high.

“Some people are even amazed at how I'm going around smiling and joking - my normal self. But football is something I've made a good living doing. It's my job. I enjoy it, I love it - but it's not who I am. It's just a job. Whichever decision I make, it's gonna be fine.”

Multiple doctors have told Samuels that the spinal stenosis he suffers from increases his chance for paralysis if he plays again. He will be re-evaluated in about three months, by which time the organization is going to have to make a decision about what it wants to do. The offensive line has been a disaster and the Redskins are going to have to bring in support whether Samuels returns for 2010 or not. It might be wise to plot a course without him for now.

“It's a pretty bad injury,” he said. “Stenosis is something I've been dealing with for years. So I'll sit back and wait and see.”

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