JULY 7: It now appears that Watkins is on track for training camp, as Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News tweets.
JUNE 26: Watkins has backed off his recent prediction that he will miss a maximum of two or three days of training camp, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports (citing a conversation that Watkins had with ESPN’s Vaughn McClure during a charity bowling event yesterday). Watkins told McClure, “Hopefully I’ll be back [for training camp]. If not, then cool. Get ready for the first [regular season] game.” It sounds as if Watkins’ earlier prediction was perhaps more optimistic than realistic.
JUNE 20: After Bills wideout Sammy Watkins suffered a minor foot fracture last month, there were conflicting reports as to exactly how long the third-year pass-catcher would be sidelined. While initial reports suggested that Watkins would be able to return to practice later this summer, head coach Rex Ryan didn’t sound as sure, stating that “the goal” was for Watkins to be available for the regular season. But speaking with Mike Hetherington of TSN.ca, Watkins was clear that he expects to be back in action by the time training camp rolls around.
“For training camp, I think I’ll definitely be available,” said Watkins. “I might sit out two or three days. It’s all about how I feel within those days. The goal is to come back and be prepared for training camp. Basically we are just taking it slow. Doing the little things now as far as cutting and moving around; the basics. There’s really no timetable. It’s really when I feel healthy, when I am healthy.”
As he continues to recover, Watkins plans to remain in the Buffalo area, maintaining contact with club officials and medial staff for the duration of the summer, according to Chris Brown of the team’s website. Watkins, 23, missed three games with injury in 2015, but still posted an excellent season, hauling in 60 passes for more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns.
Despite the injury to Watkins, and the relative lack of receiver depth behind him, Bills general manager Doug Whaley said last month that he doesn’t anticipate signing any free agent pass-catchers for the time being. However, Whaley didn’t rule out inking a veteran such as Anquan Boldin down the road, presumably if the club’s young receivers don’t blossom, or Watkins doesn’t heal as hoped.
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