Jun 2, 2021; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) looks on during drills as part of an OTA at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington WR Curtis Samuel placed on IR

Washington Football Team wide receiver Curtis Samuel is out for at least three weeks after landing on injured reserve with a groin injury suffered in practice this week.

Samuel signed a three-year, $34.5 million contract in free agency, reuniting with Ron Rivera, his former coach with the Carolina Panthers.

The 25-year-old was bothered by the injury for parts of the offseason and tweaked the muscle pull this week. He attempted to return to practice but was unable to continue.

Rookie Dyami Brown is expected to start opposite Terry McLaurin with Samuel on IR.

In four seasons with the Panthers, Samuel caught 185 passes for 2,087 yards and 14 touchdowns over 53 games (32 starts).

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) catches a pass as Washington Football Team defensive back Jeremy Reaves (39) in the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington signs WR Curtis Samuel to three-year deal

Jan 3, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) reacts during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Washington signed wide receiver Curtis Samuel to a three-year deal on Wednesday, reuniting the former Carolina Panthers’ weapon with head coach Ron Rivera and former Ohio State teammate Terry McLaurin.

Multiple outlets reported Samuel will receive a total of $34.5 million over the life of the deal.

McLaurin is the top receiver on the Washington Football Team roster and posted via social media that he and Samuel have discussed this day since they were freshmen in Columbus.

A gadget player at Ohio State with a running back background, Samuel is just 24 years old and still viewed as a playmaker with upside.

Samuel had a career-best 851 receiving yards last season and the former second-round pick is most likely to be used as a slot receiver in Washington.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) comes down with a pass against Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers activate three from COVID-19 list

Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson, wide receiver Curtis Samuel and rookie defensive tackle Derrick Brown returned to practice Friday after being activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The team appears to be moving in the right direction after putting eight players on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, including the three who just returned.

Thompson, 26, has recorded 87 tackles and two forced fumbles in 12 games this season.

Samuel, 24, has 54 catches for 517 yards and three receiving touchdowns in 2020. He also has rushed 27 times for 117 yards and two scores.

Brown, 22, has 27 tackles in 12 games this season since being selected by the Panthers with the seventh overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Star running back Christian McCaffrey, who is not expected to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos, was not spotted at Friday’s practice, according to the team’s website. McCaffrey sat out the last three games with a shoulder injury and missed Thursday’s practice after a quad injury surfaced earlier this week.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) leaves the game with an apparent injury during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

NFL injury notebook: Browns’ Beckham suffers knee injury

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and center JC Tretter both suffered apparent leg injuries on the same play early in the first quarter of Sunday’s 37-34 victory at Cincinnati.

On the Browns’ second offensive snap, quarterback Baker Mayfield was intercepted on a deep throw down the right sideline intended for Beckham. Beckham was assisted off the field and taken to the Browns’ locker room.

The NFL Network reported after the game that the injury is feared to be “major” and Beckham is scheduled to have an MRI exam on Monday morning to determine the severity.

After the interception, Tretter was on the turf clutching his right leg and knee area. He was helped off the field and received treatment on the Cleveland sideline before returning to the game during the Browns’ next offensive series.

–Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton left the 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team in the third quarter with a concussion after he absorbed an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit from linebacker Jon Bostic.

The Cowboys confirmed after the game that Dalton will enter the league’s concussion protocol. Dalton was 9 of 19 for 75 yards with an interception.

Bostic was ejected, and Dallas had to use its third quarterback in three games, rookie Ben DiNucci. The seventh-round draft pick out of James Madison tried three passes, completing two for 39 yards.

–Washington safety Landon Collins sustained a season-ending Achilles injury in the loss to the Cowboys, NFL Network reported. Collins is scheduled for an MRI on Monday, per the report.

The 26-year-old three-time Pro Bowl selection was carted off with an injury to his right lower leg in the second quarter at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

–Starting in place of injured Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-6 victory over the New England Patriots but he suffered an ankle injury on the last score, a 7-yarder in the third period.

Starting receiver Deebo Samuel also exited with a hamstring injury on a catch in the fourth quarter and Richie James Jr. left with an ankle injury.

Afterward, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated that Wilson likely suffered a high ankle sprain and is a candidate to be placed on injured reserve, where he would miss a minimum of three games. The 49ers’ only healthy running backs on their active roster are rookie JaMycal Hasty and Jerick McKinnon.

–Three Patriots suffered injuries in the loss to the 49ers — wide receiver N’Keal Harry (head), guard Joe Thuney (ankle) and offensive tackle Justin Herron (ankle). All three left the game and did not return.

Thuney hadn’t missed an offensive snap since Week 7 of last season, and his injury is believed to be a mild low ankle sprain, according to a report from NFL Media.

–Arizona running back Kenyan Drake was carted off from the sideline with a towel over his head late in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ 37-34 OT win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Drake was hurt on a 2-yard run with 4:12 left in regulation, and he needed help off the field.

He was the third Cardinal to leave the contest, following defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter, and linebacker Isaiah Irving, who suffered a neck injury with 51 seconds left in the first half on a kickoff. Irving was strapped on a backboard and carted off the field.

–Seahawks running back Chris Carson left the OT loss to the Cardinals in the second quarter with a foot injury after rushing five times for 34 yards.

The Seahawks were also without cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who was evaluated for a possible concussion in the third quarter. He was replaced by Tre Flowers.

–Bengals offensive tackle Jonah Williams suffered a neck injury in the second quarter against the Browns and did not return to the game. He handed his helmet to the training staff and initially was tested for a concussion.

–Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay rushed for 79 yards on nine carries before leaving late in the first half with a concussion suffered when he was tackled by Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen.

–Los Angeles Chargers tight end Virgil Green suffered an ankle injury after scoring a 26-yard touchdown in the third quarter of the team’s 39-29 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and did not return.

Right guard Ryan Groy had a biceps injury in the fourth quarter and did not return.

–Jaguars receiver Dede Westbrook was carted off the field with a serious leg injury on the final play of the third quarter. His knee appeared to give out as he made a cut, and as he was tackled, a cry could be heard from the field.

Jaguars cornerback Sidney Jones (back) and linebacker Dakota Allen (ankle) also left in the first half.

–New York Jets receiver Breshad Perriman was being evaluated for a concussion after the team’s 18-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

–Field Level Media

September 13, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) signals before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers star TE Kittle set to return vs. Eagles

San Francisco 49ers star tight end George Kittle is available to play on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles after a two-game absence due to a sprained left knee.

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday that Kittle and receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) have been cleared to play. Kittle was injured in the season-opening game against the Arizona Cardinals and Samuel was injured in mid-June and has missed all three games.

Kittle was a full practice participant the past three days. He also insisted during a media availability on Thursday that he would be on the field.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection had four receptions for 44 yards before exiting against Arizona.

Kittle is fresh off back-to-back outstanding seasons. He caught 88 passes for 1,377 yards and five touchdowns in 2018 and followed with 85 receptions for 1,053 yards and five scores last season.

Samuel caught 57 passes for 802 yards and three touchdowns last season as a rookie.

Shanahan said he will pick his spots per utilizing Samuel against the Eagles.

“It is his first time back, we have got to be smart with that,” Shanahan said. “I know he’ll be out there but it won’t be his normal role, that’s for sure.”

Nick Mullens will be the quarterback for the second straight game as Jimmy Garoppolo continues to recover from a sprained right ankle.

Running back Raheem Mostert (knee) also will miss his second straight game. Jerick McKinnon will start in his place.

Shanahan said that tight end Jordan Reed (knee) and defensive end Dee Ford (back) will be placed on injured reserve on Saturday. The move will require both players to miss at least three games.

Also ruled out were linebacker Dre Greenlaw (quadriceps) and cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley (concussion) and Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring).

Linebacker K’Waun Williams (hip) is questionable.

–Field Level Media

September 13, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals safety Chris Banjo (31) and middle linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers TE Kittle practices, expects to play Sunday

With the 49ers set to play the Philadelphia Eagles in prime time Sunday, San Francisco tight end George Kittle made it clear that there was no way he is going to sit out after missing two games with a knee injury.

“I just get excited at the opportunity,” Kittle said. “I mean, 5:25 on a Sunday night in Levi’s (Stadium) is pretty exciting. I know our fans won’t be there, but we’re going to feel them. It’s just going to be really exciting to get out there and play again. I’ve been missing it.”

Kittle sprained his left knee in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals after getting hit low by safety Budda Baker. He missed the next two contests against the New York Giants and the New York Jets, partly due to concerns about MetLife Stadium’s artificial playing surface.

“I feel like I can always play,” Kittle said. “I feel like I could have played versus the Jets, but that’s just me. I think a couple things went into me not playing and just the conversation with coach (Kyle) Shanahan and we just agreed it wasn’t the best decision and I wasn’t all the way back yet and it’s a long season. I think if it would have been later in the season, I would have definitely gone.”

Now with the 49ers back at home and playing on grass, Kittle is confident that he is ready to roll after going through his second full practice in as many days. His return is a boon to a team hit hard by injuries.

And his timing couldn’t be better as the Pro Bowl tight end seems to shine brightest under the lights. Last year, four of his five touchdown catches came in night-time action, and he hauled in at least five catches and 70 yards in each of the five prime-time games he played.

Kittle may not be the only starter returning to the lineup as receiver Deebo Samuel practiced as well on Thursday. Samuel could be ready to come off IR and make his first appearance of the season after sustaining a Jones fracture in his left foot over the summer.

Running back Jerick McKinnon, who left last week’s win with a rib injury, also could be ready to start in place of Raheem Mostert (knee), and quarterback Nick Mullens almost certainly will start again in place of Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle).

–Field Level Media