Watkins insists that he'll play Thursday

Bills remain noncommittal on Watkins' chances
Posted at 10:19 AM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 18:42:51-04

The Buffalo Bills lost the first game of the 2016 regular season to the Baltimore Ravens, but they might have lost an even more significant part of their team in the process. Sammy Watkins, the team's star wide receiver, is now in jeopardy of missing time this season.

According to a league source, Watkins could potentially miss several weeks of action due to pain in his surgically repaired foot. The issue now is all with him, but the Bills are still holding off during the week to make a decision -- especially with a tight turn leading up to the team's Thursday night game.

Watkins had surgery in the offseason, and missed all of the team's spring workouts and the start of training camp because of it. He also played in only two offensive series during the preseason.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan kept preaching the wait-and-see methodology in regards to Watkins, but the player was much more definitive in his words.

"Definitely going to be out there playing. Just trying to get prepared for this week and go up against a great defense," Watkins said Monday. "I'm not in any pain, it's not about the pain. It's about just being smart. I got it checked out, I'm fine and I've just got to get ready and prepared for the game."

According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who was first to report the news, an MRI following the game showed there was no break in the foot, and Watkins has been advised against additional surgery.

The Bills will need to make a decision on Watkins over the next few days of practice ahead of their Week Two game on Thursday, and Mehta's initial report indicated that the team was even concerned at one point following Sunday's loss that the wide receiver might have to be shut down for the remainder of the season.

Watkins managed only four receptions for 43 yards against the Ravens, in what was an offensively challenging day for the Bills. The Bills are up against the New York Jets on Thursday for their home opener.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia