Lynn: Watkins still playing with broken foot

December 1, 2016
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins returned to practice on a limited basis on Thursday at One Bills Drive. Watkins was a late scratch on Wednesday after experiencing some discomfort in his injured left foot just before practice.

However, some surprising news was revealed this afternoon when offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn met with the media inside the ADPRO Sports Training Center.

"The guy has a broken bone in his foot," Lynn said when he was asked about Watkins maybe playing a bigger role in this week's game against the Oakland Raiders. "I don't know if he's gonna play one play or 20 plays. We'll 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 at the end of the day."

Watkins was activated from injured reserve last week Saturday before Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Watkins had three catches is the game for 80 yards in his first game action since Week 2 of the season against the New York Jets. 

Watkins had surgery on his broken foot during the offseason, and was out until he was cleared to practice at training camp on August 8. Watkins had just six receptions for 63 yards in the first two games before being placed on injured reserve on September 30.

Watkins was ordered to rest up his injured foot until he was eligible to return earlier last week. Even after all that time to rest, it appears as though Watkins was cleared to play despite still having a break in his foot. Lynn says that he knew about Watkins' foot at the time he was cleared for action.

"[I found out] when he decided to come back and when we took him off of injured reserve, Lynn said. "From my understanding, it's a pain tolerance deal and however long he can stay out there."

"I think he's tough as hell playing through it."

Head coach Rex Ryan said after practice that Watkins looked good at practice and was able to get in a good amount of work.  Rex says he was relieved that he was able to practice on Thursday, and he still hopes for Watkins to play on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders barring any setbacks. 

While Lynn was not sure of Watkins' status for Sunday, he was also not certain on his status for the rest of the season and if he would need additional surgery on his foot.

"Last I heard the guys has a broken bone in his foot," Lynn said. "I'm just thankful to have him for any time he can give us."

It will be more clear on Friday if Watkins will play on Sunday or not when the official injury report comes out. If Watkins practices again on Friday, there could be a good chance he plays.

Three other players returned to practice on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday's practice due to injury. Lorenzo Alexander (ankle), Cordy Glenn (back) and Charles Clay (knee) all practiced on a limited basis.

A number of others were able to practice on a limited practice for a second consecutive day. Those players are guard Richie Incognito (neck), running back Mike Gillislee (hamstring), linebacker Preston Brown (wrist), guard John Miller (shoulder), safety Sergio Brown (hamstring), and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (abdomen).

Marquise Goodwin also practiced on Thursday on a limited basis. He left practice with a wrist injury during the two minute drill. Ryan said following practice that the team will see how his wrist progresses in the coming days.

Wide receivers Percy Harvin (illness) and Robert Woods (knee) did not practice, and Ryan said that the outlook for both does not look good for Sunday's game. Ronald Darby also did not practice as he remains in the concussion protocol.

Zach Brown (hand) and Tyrod Taylor (groin) were also listed on the injury report for practice, but both were full participants.