The Chargers will most likely be without Asante Samuel Jr. for a second game in a row. Head coach Brandon Staley spoke to the media Wednesday afternoon and said that the rookie cornerback is still in concussion protocol.
“Samuel is still in the protocol; feeling better, but still in the protocol. We're going to be safe,” Staley said.
Samuel has been struggling with concussions for a large portion of the season. He left the Chargers vs Patriots game in Week 8 due to a concussion and was not cleared in time for Week 9 against the Eagles. Samuel returned for Week 10 against the Vikings and Week 11's matchup against the Steelers. This is when head injuries came back into the picture. He left the Chargers vs Steelers game in the second half on Sunday and did not return after being diagnosed with his second concussion of the season.
Samuel was selected by the Chargers as the 47th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. In his first season in the NFL, Samuel has had a hard time staying healthy enough to get reps in. However, he has been able to show glimpses of what he can do for the Chargers defense. In nine games (seven full), Samuel has 31 tackles: 24 solo and seven assisted.
For now, the rookie cornerback is still listed as questionable to join the Chargers in their battle against the Cincinnati Bengals.