Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins broke a bone in his foot, multiple team sources tell The Buffalo News.
The team is hopeful that Watkins will be ready for training camp, but it’s a blow to a team that just announced linebacker Shaq Lawson would need shoulder surgery. The third-year receiver broke a small bone in his foot and had a screw inserted about a month ago, sources say.
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If Watkins did indeed suffer a Jones fracture, a common sports injury, he could be sidelined for eight weeks. The key for the Bills will be not be rushing Watkins back as such an injury can linger.
Sammy Watkins joins Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Michael Crabtree, and Julian Edelman in the club of top wide receivers playing with a metal screw in one foot. It’s like having braces, but for top NFL WRs. (Sorry, DeVante Parker, “you must be at least this productive” to join.)
[As of this writing, it is unclear if Watkins has had the surgery to insert a screw in his foot or if that surgery is imminent.]
Chris Hogan thrived in Watkins’s absence, but he’s down in Boston as a new target for the Patriots. That leaves Robert Woods and Charles Clay as the primary receiving threats in Buffalo.
But the real winners here may be LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams. The Bills were second in the league in rushing attempts in 2015. If Watkins misses extended time, expect them to again rely on their defense and one of the best running back duos in the league.
Aside from Watkins, Tyrod Taylor takes the biggest hit. Watkins was his best receiver, and it wasn’t even close. Second best? You guessed it: new Patriot Chris Hogan. Number three? Now-retired Percy Harvin. Yikes!
Taylor was already on shaky ground. The Bills apparently pursued other quarterback options in the offseason, and they drafted Cardale Jones in the fourth round. If Watkins misses extended time, he’ll be running for his life.