The six-time Pro Bowler released a statement that essentially rules himself out for the rest of the season, even as he contemplates retirement because of a serious neck injury.
"I will continue to seek medical advice," he said in a 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."
League sources told The Washington Post that Samuels shared his decision to retire with some members of the team after consulting a specialist in California.
Samuels was injured when he banged heads with a defensive player while blocking 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.
For many years, Samuels has had a condition called stenosis, a narrowing of the spine that prompted him to wear a large neck brace for extra protection.
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 story.