Washington-Big Money Absences Football

FILE - This is a 2021 photo of William Jackson III of the Washington NFL football team. Washington has been practicing without receiver Curtis Samuel for the balance of training camp and without cornerback William Jackson for the past week. Samuel and Jackson were the team's highest-priced free agent additions. (AP Photo/File)

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Washington activated wide receiver Curtis Samuel on Friday, and he is expected to make his season debut Sunday at the Atlanta Falcons.

Samuel missed the first three games of the season with a lingering groin injury. The 25-year-old Samuel was placed on injured reserve to give him more time to get healthy.

Coach Ron Rivera said Samuel will be active for Washington's Week 4 game at Atlanta. He returned to practice Wednesday, starting a 21-day clock to put him on the 53-man roster or shelve him for the season, but he's good to go now.

“I’m just looking forward to letting the game come to me,” Samuel said. "Of course I want to get in the end zone, but if I don’t, it is what it is. If my teammates get in the end zone, we’re going to celebrate and we’re going to have fun, and hopefully come home with a win.”

Washington signed Samuel to a three-year contract worth $34.5 million during the offseason, hoping to add another dynamic playmaker to the offense. The team’s passing attack ranks 24th in the NFL.

Samuel will be eased back in, but he gives quarterback Taylor Heinicke another option.

“We’ll sprinkle him in,” Rivera said. "His involvement with the offense is fair. I think it’s not like we went in and expect him to come out and play 65 plays. That’s the thing we have to be smart about it.”

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