Watkins returns to practice

NFL Buffalo

Sammy Watkins is back… at practice, at least.

The Bills officially made Watkins as their Injured Reserve-Designated to Return player on Wednesday. 

They now have three weeks to decide if they will re-activate him to the 53 man roster. 

Of course, they’re going to activate him. The question is when. 

Rex Ryan said the Bills will learn more about the answer to that question at Wednesday’s practice. Watkins was still be officially limited in practice.

The possibility of Sammy suiting up Sunday against the Jaguars exists. 

“We’re encouraged that he has been cleared to participate,” Ryan said. “Is there a chance that he could play? I hope so.”

Watkins said if the game was Thursday, he wouldn’t be playing. On Sunday? 

“We’ll see,” Watkins said. “If I’m healthy enough to play and they say I can play, I’ll play.”

He ran about 20 plays, according to his own count, at or near full speed Wednesday. 

Bills coaches will be watching practice and film of practice to see if Watkins is “babying” the injured foot. That will help determine if he plays against Jacksonville. 

Watkins says he’s now fully healthy and thinks the time off helped.

“At first I was upset, angry, mad, but honestly it’s been a blessing to sit out and get healthy,” Watkins said. 

With Robert Woods doubtful, there may be more motivation to get Watkins on the field. Ryan dismissed that. 

“The health of Sammy is the big question, whether Woods is healthy or not.”

Ryan says that Watkins spent a “ton” of time in the Bills practice facility while on Injured Reserve. He worked closely with receivers coach Sanjay Lal. 

In other injury news. LeSean McCoy will also be limited in practice Wednesday. He’s recovering from surgery Sunday night to repair a dislocated thumb. 

 “The big thing is making sure his thumb doesn’t get infected,” Ryan said. 

A contest against the 2-8 Jags doesn’t exactly stir the soul, but the Bills are aware they don’t have margin for error if they want to play past week 17. 

“We need this game in the worst way,” Ryan said. 

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