Buffalo Bills: Injured Sammy Watkins Cleared to Practice
The Buffalo Bills passing attack needs a shot in the arm, and they should get it when their best wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, returns to the field.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins has always had trouble staying healthy in the NFL. Watkins played in a seemingly solid 29 out of 32 games in his first two seasons, but he wasn’t 100 percent for several of those contests, particularly in his rookie season.
Now in his third year, Watkins has appeared in just two games for the Bills, and we’re entering Week 12. Watkins caught just six passes in Week 1 and Week 2 after dealing with an offseason foot injury, and the Bills placed him on the injured reserve on Sept. 30 due to pain and complications with his foot.
There’s fear that this foot injury will continue to bother him, but, for now, Watkins is finally trending in the right direction.
Bills today announced WR Sammy Watkins cleared to return to practice.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2016
On the same day the Cleveland Browns have cleared Robert Griffin III to practice, the Bills have cleared Watkins to return to action.
On Watkins: "We'll know more today…He feels good. We're not going to run him until his tongue is hanging out. We'll be smart with him." pic.twitter.com/9uSMDy62uG
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 23, 2016
Bills head coach Rex Ryan said that the team will play it safe with their most electric player on offense, and that’s an obvious statement. Watkins could end up being one of the most injury-prone players in the league and we’ve already seen how much the foot injury is bothering him.
When he’s on the field, Watkins is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and he was scintillating in 2015 with 17.5 yards per reception and nine touchdowns. Few players in this league are better at making big plays. He and Tyrod Taylor showed a brilliant connection down the stretch of the 2015 season.
The Bills are just 29th in net yards per pass attempt this season, as Taylor is trying to hold things together. Charles Clay has underperformed, the likes of Justin Hunter are as awful as expected, and Robert Woods is doubtful to play in Week 12.
Watkins’s return couldn’t come at a better time, but the Bills must keep his long-term health in mind. He is eligible to face the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. And while it is tempting to have him on the field, I think it is best for the Bills to wait until Week 13.