Last week during the end of Organized Team Activites, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins took part in individual drills for the first time this spring -- following yet another offseason surgery to heal his injured foot.
And on Tuesday, the Bills top wide receiver made more progress, taking reps in team drills for the first time since being given the go-ahead to practice on a limited basis. Following Tuesday's session, head coach Sean McDermott talked with a few reporters about where Watkins' is at the moment.
The Q&A, in full:
Q: When was the first time Watkins took part in team drills?
McDermott: Today was the first day, and it was really all based off Sammy feeling good up until that point in practice. Really, the foundation was built last week with the individual period, and today he was able to put reps on top of the individual period which was good to see.
Q: How has he responded to an enhanced workload?
McDermott: So far so good. God willing, he’s responded well and we’ll just keep incrementally ramping it up from there and tomorrow morning, we’ll see how he feels and see. We just have to take it one day at a time at this point.
Q: I think he had 4 team reps? Is the hope to ramp him up a little more tomorrow?
McDermott: Yeah, he had four or five, something around there. Yeah, we had him on a little bit of a pitch count. Shone Gipson and Phil [McGeoghan] did a good job at managing that, and I know Sammy is chomping at the bit to get out there more. We just… we’ve got to be patient right now. He did a nice job.
Q: Has he talked to you at all about what happened last year, when he kind of pushed it a little bit in training camp and then went down?
McDermott: Yeah, we’ve talked enough about it — Sammy and I. Myself, Brandon — the training staff — have talked at length about it in terms of that process set for him last year, and really making sure that this year we’re doing everything possible to build on the rehab process that he’s just gone through.
Q: Sammy getting more reps, your feelings on that?
McDermott: Yeah, it was just really… Sammy was in a position going into practice where he felt in a good place. Last week was individual, built a nice foundation last week, and then the pitch count today was around four to five reps of team drills, and he did a nice job.
Q: You’re not worried about Watkins having not worked in at all and taking six weeks off, and jumping back into the offense… is that on your mind at all?
McDermott: We always have to do things in certain ways so that way we put ourselves into position to succeed, and rehab is no different when you have a player in this situation — and this situation we want to make sure we’ve dotted the ‘Is’ and crossed the ‘Ts’ — and in this case he’s worked, he just hasn’t been here. He’s worked extremely hard in the training room, attacking the rehab process… and these last couple of weeks we’ve been able to get him on the field. A credit to Sammy and our training staff.