Washington Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels says he will need a couple of months before deciding whether he can play again.
The six-time Pro Bowler released a statement Friday night, confirming an earlier report by NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that he has yet to make a final decision about his future in the NFL.
Samuels, 32, met with a specialist in California this week and will meet with another specialist next week, a source with knowledge of the situation told La Canfora. Samuels will continue to seek medical advice for the neck injury that has put his career in jeopardy, but essentially ruled himself out for the rest of the season.
"I will continue to seek medical advice," Samuels said in the statement. "I hope to see where I am physically over the next couple months. At this time, I have not made a decision, but I love playing for the Redskins and hope to be back."
Samuels has long dealt with spinal stenosis, according to a team source, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal in his neck, and would generally require an MRI exam whenever suffering a blow to that area. He began going for further tests after suffering a stinger in a game two weeks ago, and has been advised not to play again until the situation clears up some, which could take a few months.
Samuels was injured when he banged heads with a defensive player while throwing a block early in the first quarter of Washington's loss to Carolina two weeks ago. The collision caused Samuels to go limp and caused a tingling sensation around his neck.
Officially, the Redskins had only ruled Samuels out on a week-to-week basis, but it was clear from the nature of the injury that it could be career-threatening. Samuels sought multiple medical opinions before releasing his statement.
Even if he does decide to resume playing, Samuels would have good reasons to take his time and not return this year. The Redskins (2-4) are in last place in the NFC East and are just getting to the tough part of their schedule.
Samuels' injury has been a serious blow to the offensive line, which had already lost right guard Randy Thomas to a season-ending arm injury. The Redskins have shuffled several players around, and the makeshift fivesome has allowed safeties in back-to-back games.
The No. 3 overall draft pick from Alabama in 2000, Samuels earned Pro Bowl nods in 2001-02 and 2005-08. The 32-year-old Samuels was a starter from the first game of his rookie season and has started all 141 games in which he has played. Injuries have limited him in recent seasons, however, and he entered this season coming off surgeries for a sore knee and a torn right triceps.
The Associated Press contributed to this report