The Bills are on the outside looking in on the NFL's playoff race, but the return of Sammy Watkins could give Buffalo a much needed bump over the final six weeks of the season.
On Saturday, the team officially activated Watkins from injured reserve, and coach Rex Ryan told reporters he expects the Bills' No. 1 wide receiver to play on Sunday at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Watkins practiced all week on a limited basis and was listed as questionable for the game on Friday, but Ryan gave strong indication that the team’s top receiver will be in the lineup on Sunday.
“I think he’s good to go,” Ryan said. “He won’t have a full workload, but we’re definitely going to get him in there.”
Watkins initially had surgery in April to repair a broken bone in his left foot. Although he told reporters that team doctors considered holding him out for all of training camp, he returned to practice one month before the start of the season.
However he was limited in Buffalo's Week 1 loss to the Ravens, and afterward the team reportedly considered shutting him down for a few weeks. An X-ray on the foot came back clean, however, and Watkins played in Week 2 against the Jets. But soreness in the foot persisted and he missed the Bills' Week 3 win over the Cardinals before being placed on IR ahead of Buffalo's shutout of the Patriots in Week 4.
For the season, Watkins has six catches for 63 yards. He told reporters this week that he's looking forward to getting back into a normal football routine:
“Just doing it over and over and getting your body to line up and run a play without thinking about the depth or the yards (is important),” Watkins said. “Once I keep running those routes it’ll be normal and natural again.”