Cautious Optimism Regarding Return of Sammy Watkins
Two months after the Bills placed Sammy Watkins on IR, he is now eligible to return, and there’s hope that he could suit up on Sunday. But should he? And if he does, will he be a valuable Fantasy play?
Watkins underwent offseason surgery after breaking his foot and all was well throughout his rehab and recovery. He was ready to go during training camp, but before Week 1 we heard the first report that he wasn’t 100 percent. This wasn’t entirely surprising because foot injuries tend to cause problems for wide receivers, even after the standard two-month recovery time.
Watkins caught four of six targets for 43 yards in Week 1, and followed that up with a two-reception, 20-yard performance in Week 2. Watkins clearly wasn’t right and his foot was acting up. The Bills finally made the decision to place him on IR so he could get it under control, and thankfully he was able to avoid additional surgery.
It has now been eight weeks since that move was made, and Watkins is eligible to be added to the active roster. The Bills remain hopeful that he can play some in Week 12, but they aren’t overly optimistic that they will get their receiver back. Because he’s already had one serious setback following the foot fracture, he needs to be sure to do whatever he can to avoid another. If he continues to have problems, he could be risking the 2017 season as well.
Watkins’ practice participation on Wednesday should be our first real sign of whether he’s ready or not. While I expect Watkins to be activated sometime in the next few weeks and have value down the stretch, I do think it will be a slow few weeks. Throughout his career, Watkins has relied on a heavy share of targets to have value, so if he plays limited snaps his ceiling can only be so high. Watkins is still in the high-risk category according to the Inside Injuries algorithm, but as he starts practicing without any setbacks those numbers should slowly start to improve.
Without Robert Woods, who is unlikely to play this week because of a sprained knee, the Bills could really use Sammy Watkins, even if he can’t be an every-down player yet.
For updates on Sammy Watkins’ recovery throughout the rest of the season, download the Inside Injuries app.
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