For the second straight offseason, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins had to have surgery on the same foot that bothered him in 2015. The Bills announced Watkins had the surgery after the injury forced him to miss half the team's games in 2016.
In eight games played, Watkins had only 28 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns -- a far cry from his 2015 statistics that yielded over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. The Bills said they believe Watkins will be ready for training camp.
The team also said second-year player Shaq Lawson underwent a minor knee surgery. Lawson, who missed the team's first six games of 2016 due to offseason shoulder surgery, is expected to be ready for all offseason activities.
Joe B's Take
Upon seeing the news, I assume most Bills fans will roll their eyes and say, 'Well, here we go again.' While it seemed like a second surgery was a very common outcome for this type of injury (see: Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant and Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones), there is likely a lot of worry as to whether or not Watkins can live up to his immense potential.
However, if the Bills do this right with Watkins this offseason and don't allow him to force his way back on the field too prematurely, there are many reasons for optimism to finally get him back to 100-percent health. Both Bryant and Jones have been able to come back and continue their dominant ways in the NFL, and with a similar type of injury, perhaps Watkins can be the third to follow that trend.
The key here is to be patient, and once he came back from injured reserve in 2016, Watkins seemed like he was finally going to take a backseat on trying to force the issue, and instead follow the exact advice of the medical team and training staff. He really does have all the potential in the world and can be a dominant player in the NFL if he gets back to full health -- no matter how long into training camp or the regular season that it takes.
The rehab process of his foot should be of the utmost importance for the Bills.
As for Lawson, it seems like it's a fairly common procedure, which shouldn't be too much of a cause for concern for Bills fans -- especially given the timetable. He's going to be quite important for them moving forward, as he's slated for a starting role in 2017.
|Breaking News Alerts, Live video, and your hour-by-hour forecast - download the WKBW app|
|News, forecast and Bills newsletters delivered to your e-mail inbox|