Redskins place Chris Samuels on injured reserve, ending his season and possibly his career

By Jason Reid
Sunday, November 1, 2009

As expected, the Redskins on Saturday placed left tackle Chris Samuels on the season-ending injured-reserve list because of a severe neck injury that has likely ended his career.

Samuels has not played since suffering the injury Oct. 11 in the first quarter of a 20-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Several physicians have told Samuels he risks paralysis if he continues to play football, league sources said last week, and the 10-year veteran has told people in the organization he plans to retire. But Samuels plans to wait until he meets with a specialist in December or January to make a final decision, a source close to the player said recently.

In high school, Samuels was found to have stenosis, a narrowing of the spine, but the condition did not stop him from becoming an all-American and Outland Trophy winner at Alabama and the anchor of the Redskins' offensive line since his rookie season. He was taken by Washington with the third overall pick in the 2000 draft.

"With Chris out there, I never had to worry. I knew he always had my back," quarterback Jason Campbell said last week. "Just having that confidence that Chris was there and my blind side was covered . . . it's a big blow when you lose someone like that."

Center Casey Rabach agreed.

"Forget about losing one of the best tackles in this game, which Chris is, you're talking about losing one of the hardest workers and best teammates you could imagine," Rabach said last week. "Chris is just one of those guys who makes a difference, in the right way, for a lot of reasons."

Samuels played in the first five games for the Redskins (2-5), who have lost three in a row and are in their bye week. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Samuels has started and played in 141 regular season games since entering the league. His 2008 season was cut short because of a triceps injury and he underwent triceps and knee surgeries in the offseason.

The placement of Samuels on IR creates a vacant roster spot.

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