It certainly isn't an ideal situation with Sammy Watkins likely to miss most of the offseason following foot surgery a month ago. Despite the setback Buffalo's general manager, head coach and starting quarterback believe that the absence of Watkins is manageable.
The Bills still aren't in a position to firmly set a timetable for Watkins' return, but they're taking comfort in knowing he'll be ready when the games count this fall.
"We don't anticipate him missing any time in the regular season, but right now we can't pinpoint the exact return date until he gets further along in his rehab," said GM Doug Whaley in a radio interview on WGR 550 Tuesday. "We know for sure that this guy is going to be working as diligently to get back as soon as possible."
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"By the time the regular season comes around Sammy Watkins is not going to miss any time," said head coach Rex Ryan. "So he is going to be fine. We are confident he is doing a great job and he is going to be back healthy. We know by the time the season rolls around he is going to be completely healthy."
Watkins, however, will be missing all the on field offseason work between now and mandatory minicamp. Missing a portion of training camp is also likely, which means no reps on the field with starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
"(I'm) not necessarily disappointed right now," said Taylor. "I kind of moved past that. The main thing is that Sammy gets healthy. We know he wants to be out here and he's going to get out as soon as he can. The main thing is that we just talked through a bunch of things that happened last year. Once it's his time to come back in training camp then we'll get on the same page as far as getting chemistry back."
"Will it be a detriment to their growth as a duo? I don't think so because if you look at that last half of the season when Sammy came back he was third leading receiver the last nine games," Whaley said. "So we think that rapport will come back quickly."
Taylor already has a plan in place to get the proper amount of time in with Watkins now off the field, so when he does return to the field they can pick up where they left off last season when the Bills number one wideout averaged 100 receiving yards a game.
"We'll make up the time as far as getting on the same page, spending extra time together," Taylor said. "And even now, we are talking through things. Just being able to get on the field is something we can't do right now. But, we'll be able to work around that when the time comes."