It’s difficult to tell whether or not to be encouraged by the update on Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins. The good news is there was no break in his surgically repaired foot, and he will try to play through the comfort. The bad news is the team seemingly left the door open for a potential Watkins absence down the road.
In his day-after press conference on Monday, coach Rex Ryan made it sound as though there’s a reasonable chance Watkins will be ready for the Bills’ Week 2 matchup with the AFC East rival New York Jets on Thursday. Beyond that, it’s reasonable to conclude Ryans isn’t entirely sure.
“He’s sore,” Ryan said of Watkins via the team’s Twitter account. “Hopefully he’ll progress through the week and be ready. Not shutting him down right now.”
There are two distinct aspects to Ryan’s last sentence. There’s “not shutting him down,” which obviously means Watkins will be trying to get ready to play on Thursday and presumably ever week. Then there’s the “right now” part, which could imply shutting Watkins down might become an option later, if it isn’t inevitable.
Not to eliminate Buffalo from playoff contention in September, but you do have to wonder if and when the postseason begins to become an afterthought for the Bills how much longer Watkins would continue to play through the pain. At a certain point, it will make more sense for him to get whatever foot issues he has taken care of.
For now, a dismal 13-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on opening weekend isn’t enough to deter Watkins or the Bills, and the talented wideout will tough it out. Of course, he’ll need to put up better lines than his 4r catches for 43 yards on Sunday to make his sacrifice worth it for everybody.