Sammy Watkins Expected to Play Sunday Against the Raiders
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (ESPN) — Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn seemed confident that receiver Sammy Watkins will play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, but just how much he’ll play has yet to be determined.
Watkins returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis after trainers held him out Wednesday because of foot soreness.
“He looked good today. He was able to do quite a bit today,” Ryan said.
“That’s what I’m hoping for,” Ryan added, in reference to Watkins playing Sunday. “I believe that will be the case unless there’s some sort of setback.”
Ryan said it’s “not looking good” that receivers Robert Woods (knee) and Percy Harvin (illness) will be able to play after missing practices Wednesday and Thursday. The status of Marquise Goodwin, who is expected to start in Woods’ place, is also uncertain; he left Thursday’s practice with a wrist injury.
Lynn struck a more ominous tone when asked whether Watkins’ workload will increase Sunday. He played only 25 snaps in last weekend’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He caught three passes for 80 yards.
“Well, the guy has a broken bone in his foot,” Lynn said. “I don’t know if he’s gonna play one play or 20 plays. So we’ll just see how big his role is. I’d like to keep him in there the whole time, but I can’t say.
“He’s tough, he’s very determined to stay on the football field and help us win games, but he has a broken bone in his foot.”
Asked to clarify whether Watkins’ left foot was still broken, Lynn responded, “Last I heard. It’s a pain-tolerance deal and I think he’s tough as hell playing through it.”
Lynn later said that information was given to him last week, when Watkins was activated from injured reserve.
Watkins declined an interview request in the locker room Wednesday and was not available to reporters Thursday.
Upon returning from injured reserve last week, Watkins said he was leaving open the possibility of season-ending surgery if he experienced further issues with his foot.
Watkins, the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft, had offseason surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot. He played in the first two games of the season, making six catches for 63 yards, but aggravated the injury and was placed on IR on Sept. 30.