After an eight-game absence from the field for game action, the Buffalo Bills finally got Sammy Watkins back on to the field Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Watkins seemed to be moving around well on his surgically repaired foot, roping in three receptions for a total of 80 yards in his first game back.
A day after the game, the Bills declared that Watkins came away from the game well, and it seemed like he would be primed to take another step forward in his progress to getting back to a full-time starter. Against Jacksonville, Watkins only played 45-percent of offensive snaps.
We even saw Watkins on the field at the beginning of practice on Wednesday, but by the end of it, Watkins was nowhere to be seen as players went through positional work. Come to find out, there was a reason behind it all.
Right after the practice let out, the Bills announced that Watkins had been changed his practice status to 'did not participate,' and said that Watkins talked to trainers and complained of soreness in the same foot that he had surgically repaired.
Watkins was placed on Injured Reserve following the team's Week Three game against Arizona, and was shut down until last week. The Bills didn't provide any additional update on whether or not he would practice on Thursday, but the practice is set to begin in the late morning
Joe B's Take
The Bills quick update about their star wide receiver likely left quite a few fans with an ominous perception of the situation. The team didn't add much, other than saying he left the practice due to soreness in his foot.
My first reaction would be, for fans at least, to not jump to any conclusions this early in the week. The Bills have made it a habit to give rest to some of their starting and veteran players in the beginning stages of the week of practice if they need it.
They've done so with Cordy Glenn and Charles Clay to name a couple, so it's not out of the question for the Bills just to give Watkins an extra day for his foot to bounce back from his first game in two-plus months.
Second, as of Monday, the Bills continued to say that they would be "smart" with Watkins -- in both the game and in practice. If he felt soreness in his foot even a slight bit, that is grounds for them to have him go rest for the day, and give it another shot in the following practice.
That said, his ability to participate on Thursday could loom large for his outlook to play on Sunday against Oakland. And without getting some rest, that's probably when the Bills will find out about Watkins' potential availability as well.
So, again, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions at this point. It's still very early in the week.