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Bills Today: Watkins progressing


Here's the Bills news of note for Nov. 25th.

1 - Watkins progressing
Sammy Watkins took another positive step on Thursday in his quest to playing his first game since Week 2.

For the second day in a row, Watkins was a limited participant in practice. Assistant coaches were cautious in what routes Watkins could and couldn't run, but Rex Ryan still sounded much more optimistic about Watkins' chances of playing Sunday after Thursday's practice than he did earlier in the week.

"I'm not sure, but I think there's a possibility of that. I do," Ryan told reporters."As long as there's not another setback or anything like that, I feel pretty good about him playing. He can run a little bit. He looks pretty good to me."

Ryan said earlier in the week that even if Watkins does play, the Bills would be cautious and try not to overuse him Sunday against the Jaguars.

"We're not going to run him until his tongue's hanging out," Ryan said. "We'll be smart with him in how many plays we do."

Watkins had 63 yards over his first two games of the season, but remained bothered by his foot that he had offseason surgery on. He ultimately couldn't play through the pain anymore and was placed on injured reserve.

Despite being away out for almost two months, Watkins hasn't been a stranger to the organization. Ryan said that Watkins has spent a lot of time at the facility with wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal and has done everything that has been asked of him.

"Right now, I'm trying to get acclimated to route-running because eight weeks is a long time out of football, so it's really about the fundamentals," Watkins said. "It's really about getting back to football shape, getting in shape and getting on the same page as the wide receivers and the quarterback."

Watkins had over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first 29 games with Buffalo. Also limited in practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's session were Lorenzo Alexander, Charles Clay and Cordy Glenn. 

2 - Hamstring keeps Gillislee sidelinedUnfortunately for the Bills, everything wasn't positive for their Thanksgiving practice.

Mike Gillislee sat out after injuring his hamstring late in Wednesday's practice. Ryan said after practice that the injury, "was a real concern.

The Bills were hoping to lean on Gillislee against the 23rd-ranked rush defense, especially with LeSean McCoy coming off of thumb surgery on Monday.

McCoy has been a full participant in practices, but the Bills know how important Gillislee has been to their offense.

"Two different style (running) backs, but close in production as far as him going out and creating plays, creating big plays for us and getting in the end zone," Tyrod Taylor said. "I mean last year he had to make the name in the locker room as Touchdown Mike because every time he got the ball he seemed to find the end zone, but having a guy back there like Mike definitely helps our running game and it takes a load off of Shady as well too." If Gillislee can't go on Sunday, rookie Jonathan Williams will be McCoy's primary backup. Williams has 17 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown in six games this season.

Gillislee is already having the best season of his career, with 326 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Despite only having 56 carries, Gillislee has 35th most rushing yards in the league.

3 - Robey-Coleman still affected by P.I. call
Heading into Sunday's game, a lot of the conversation has centered on that fateful third-and-15 play during last year's game in London between these two teams.

Rex Ryan has let his position be known loud and clear, but the player who was called for pass interference on that play admits that he still thinks about the play as well and is out seeking revenge this week.

"It sticks with me a lot," Nickell Robey-Coleman said. "That was a critical part of the game and that was a fair play that I thought I made and they took that away from me from a reffing standpoint. This is the game for me to get back."

The Jaguars scored the game-winning touchdown two plays later, and the loss sent the Bills to 3-4 on the season.

Robey-Coleman lost a large amount of his playing time last week in the nickel position to rookie Kevon Seymour, but he still will contribute against a dangerous Jacksonville passing attack that averages close to 250 passing yards a game.

Still, Robey-Coleman knows that in crunch time he can't let his emotions get the best of him--with one exception.

"You know I'm going to be excited, you know I'm going to express myself," he said. "Would I be extra (aggressive)? Probably not. If it's a coincidence that we have the same refs as we did last year, then I'll be a little extra (cautious)."

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