Following an eight-game absence, the Buffalo Bills were finally able to get Sammy Watkins back on the field last week against Jacksonville. The star wide receiver played in less than half of the offensive snaps, but still managed to bring in three receptions for 80 yards.
The Bills seemed pleased with the output, and likely hopeful that he would be able to do more the following week. On Wednesday, they had to pull him back a bit -- after the wide receiver complained to the team's training staff of soreness in his surgically repaired foot.
The team originally listed him as a limited participant ahead of the practice, but downgraded him to 'did not participate' after the fact. On Thursday, Watkins got back on the practice field on a limited basis. It was after practice that made the most news.
Head coach Rex Ryan said Watkins looked good and was able to do a lot during practice, and stated that he believes the wide receiver will be able to play Sunday barring any setbacks. It wasn't as pleasant of an outlook from Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.
"He’s not 100-percent," Lynn said on Thursday. "The guy has a broken bone in his foot. I don’t know if he’s going to play one play or 20 plays, so we’ll just see how big his role is. I’d like to keep him in the whole time. I can’t say. He’s tough. He’s very determined to stay on the football field and help us win games, but, he has a broken bone in his foot at the end of the day."
The details of a broken bone in his foot leads to a lack of clarity on the situation. Watkins had surgery to repair a broken bone in the foot in the offseason, and that was the reason for resting it through the spring, and over a two-month span while he was on Injured Reserve.
From what Lynn said on Thursday, it appears that Watkins is still dealing with a broken bone in the same foot that has been bothering him all along.
It’s a pain tolerance deal. I think he’s tough as he’ll playing through it," Lynn continued, before being asked if he's sure that Watkins can get through the rest of the season without another surgery on the foot. "I’m not certain. The last I heard the guy has a broken bone in his foot, and I’m just thankful to have him for any time he can give us."
Rex Ryan spoke before Lynn, so he was unavailable for comment once the offensive coordinator was done speaking. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins was not in the locker room during the media's allotted time to speak with players.
The Bills resume practice on Friday at 10:40 am.
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