Samuel was forced to miss the first three games of the season because of a groin injury that has caused him issues since late spring. This week marked the first time the speedy wideout has practiced for three consecutive days since then.
"We'll sprinkle him in," Rivera said. "There are some things he did that I really liked seeing today. ... It's not like we expect him to come out and play 65 plays. That's the thing we have to be smart about."
Samuel signed a three-year contract worth up to $34.5 million with Washington earlier this year. The 2017 second-round draft pick out of Ohio State spent his first four NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers before entering free agency in 2021.
Washington is hoping that Samuel can provide big plays alongside fellow wideout Terry McLaurin, who has a team-best 19 catches for 231 yards and a touchdown this season.
"People have to account for him whether he gets the ball or doesn't get the ball when he's going vertical with his speed," Rivera said of Samuel. "There are so many things he brings to the table that will help us and can help us if we're able to use him."
Also Friday, Washington listed starting running back Antonio Gibson (shin) as questionable for Sunday's tilt against Atlanta. He was limited in practice Friday, but he is expected to play versus the Falcons.