The Facts: Samuel, last spring’s second-round draft pick, continues to rehabilitate a surgically-repaired ankle that suffered ligament damage in a freak incident during the Panthers’ game against Miami in Week 10 against Miami. “I don’t have a timetable (for Samuel) as much as I know they’ve gotten him running around a little bit,” said Panthers coach Ron Rivera, speaking at the NFL league meetings’ coaches’ breakfast on Tuesday.
Diehards Line: As Observer staffer Jourdan Rodrigue notes, Samuel’s projected return date is cloudy because of the nature of the injury. Earlier, the Panthers’ team website published a report that hoped he’d be back by training camp this summer. But that seems dicey considering where he's currently at. “Straight-ahead (running), very much so. Not a lot of cutting and breaking right now," Rivera said. "I think they’re just slowly working him back in that process.” The Panthers added receivers Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright in free agency as a flanker and slot receiver, respectively. Rivera indicated that the moves not only create depth where it’s needed, but also give Samuel an opportunity to work back into the rotation at a pace not detrimental to his physical recovery.