Watkins: I'm definitely going to be out there playing

Posted Sep 12, 2016

Sammy Watkins quelled his own head coach's concerns Monday about his surgically repaired foot, saying he'll be playing on Thursday night against the Jets.

Early Monday afternoon, in the wake of Buffalo’s Week 1 loss at Baltimore, head coach Rex Ryan said he was hopeful his top receiver Sammy Watkins would be able to play on a short week Thursday night despite the fact that he was complaining of soreness in his surgically repaired foot. Before the afternoon was over Watkins put his head coach’s concerns to rest.

“I’m definitely going to be out there playing (Thursday),” said Watkins after the team’s walk through practice Monday. “I’m just trying to get prepared for this week and go up against a great defense.”

Watkins confirmed that he did go to the team’s athletic training staff after the game to get his foot checked out. He indicated the foot felt fatigued and it was more for his own peace of mind, not because of any pain or discomfort.

“I just felt like it was tired,” said Watkins of his foot. “I just wanted to make sure. I was playing at a high rate and playing fast so I wanted to make sure everything was fine. And I might do it after the next game and the next game. There’s no particular reason why I did it. I just felt the need to do it and if I need to do it again I’m probably going to do it every week.”

Buffalo’s top receiver was on the field for 42 snaps or 86 percent of the offensive plays in the game for the Bills. It was a huge jump in workload for Watkins, who got all of two series worth of work in the preseason and had his reps in practice closely monitored.

There were reports that Watkins entered Sunday’s game at less than 100 percent, but the receiver dismissed those reports.

“Very inaccurate,” said Watkins of the reports. “Before the game and during the week I felt fine. After the game after you’ve been going at a high intensity and making so many cuts, you’re not thinking about your foot or anything. Then after the game you just stop. Then you get it checked after the game and you’re fine.”

Watkins, who led the team with four receptions for 43 yards Sunday, was targeted six times. He said he felt he played okay, but admitted he was a bit rusty. Ultimately, Watkins believes the more he plays on his foot the better it will feel and the better he will play.

“With these injuries they get better as you go,” he said. “The more reps, the more speed and the more you’re figuring your injury out and mentally having faith and believing that it’s healed you get better. I’ve been progressing and getting better every week. I don’t feel like I’m going to have any setbacks. It’s all about me being smart with treatment and doing the right things.

“All I can tell you is I feel great. I don’t know if I’m around 100 or 95 (percent), whatever it is I feel great,” said Watkins. “I can go out there and compete at the highest level. I can make plays. So the biggest thing is just being smart and staying healthy throughout the whole season.”