The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be losing Sammy Watkins for longer than expected, with the wide receiver now saying he may end up missing some or possibly all of the team’s training camp.
The team’s No. 1 wideout ended up getting surgery in May to have a screw inserted into a small broken bone in his foot. The procedure wasn’t seen as a major one, and Watkins was expected to be cleared in time for the team’s training camp in late July.
That may no longer be the case. Watkins said on Sunday that the recovery period could end up taking him a lot longer than expected. The wide receiver struck a very uncertain tone when talking about when he might return to the team.
“You never know. Be very skeptical about it. Hopefully I’ll be back (for training camp),” Watkins said, according to ESPN. “If not, then cool. Get ready for the first game.
Watkins said that the rehab appears to be on track so far.
“You never know. Right now I feel good but I got to go back and train and rehab. Hopefully it feels good when I run and everything like that. I haven’t ran in three or four weeks. Hopefully I’ll feel good about it and I’ll be on the field in training camp.”
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) June 26, 2016
Sammy Watkins changes stance, says he could miss camp https://t.co/f12ZbK9kr9
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 26, 2016
If rumors indicate that the Buffalo Bills could be without Sammy Watkins for an extended period of time, it could be a major blow. The Bills were a much different team with Watkins on the field last season. Even on a team with LeSean McCoy in the backfield and the very elusive Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, it was Watkins who was far-and-away the most dangerous weapon on the team.
And the Bills were a very different team when Sammy Watkins was more incorporated into the offense. He was plagued by injuries and Tyrod Taylor’s learning curve early in the season, and through the team’s first seven games he had just 147 yards.
Then something clicked in the second half, with Watkins become the favorite target of Taylor. He ended the season with 1,047 yards, leading the NFL in yards in the second half of the season.
The rumors surrounding Sammy Watkins are still very unclear. Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan said earlier this month that it would be too difficult to predict yet when he would return to the team.
“We will definitely be smart with him also, but like I said, I am sure he is going to get some work [in camp],” Ryan said (via ESPN). “It is just we don’t have a definitive date.”
As NFL.com noted, things in Buffalo could get a lot more tense the longer Watkins is out.
Missing some training camp action shouldn’t be a concern for Buffalo. If Watkins misses all of camp then the panic meter should be adjusted accordingly. The Bills‘ primary objective is to make sure their No. 1 wideout is 100 percent for the regular season and that’s the plan the team seems to be operating under.
This could be a pivotal offseason for the Buffalo Bills. The team failed to meet expectations in Ryan’s first year as head coach, ending the season 8-8 when many had penciled them in as a playoff contender. Ryan’s job is reportedly on the line as the team tries to change their fortune, giving even more importance to this offseason. It will be the first time that Tyrod Taylor comes in as the clear-cut No. 1, as it took him most of training camp last year to secure the job. That gives the team an important opportunity to work on chemistry, though with Sammy Watkins out that plan could take a major hit.
[Photo by David J. Phillip/AP Images]