It's been a long offseason for Bills receiver Sammy Watkins. Forced to be a spectator for most of the spring practices as he was busy rehabilitating from an offseason procedure, Watkins assured this week that come the first practice he will be participating. Whether he's full go however, will still be up to the athletic training and medical staff.
"I'll definitely be out there," said Watkins. "I don't know what the circumstance will be with the (athletic training) staff and what I'm going to be doing or how limited I'm going to be, but I'm definitely going to be practicing."
Watkins believes after a four-month layoff that he might be encouraged to ease his way back into practice by the staff rather than jumping in head first. The second-year receiver understands the approach.
"You don't want to come out here and go 100 percent like it's game day," said Watkins. "Everyone will work themselves into it. I think I'm 100 percent healthy. I just have to get out there and see. It starts with competing. Once I get to compete I can kind of tell where I'm at."
Watkins is referring to going against the likes of the team's top corners like Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin in practice.
"I can't wait to go out there and compete and go through one-on-ones to measure where I'm at after the injury," said Watkins. "Just get out there with the whole team and coaching staff and get started here in training camp."
While the Bills top receiving threat did keep up to date on the play installation for the new offense through the course of the spring. Studying the route assignments and watching practice video is a whole lot different than physically taking the reps.
"The plays I'm kind of comfortable with them, but you still have to go out there and run the routes," Watkins said. "Feeling comfortable with the route running is something different. I feel like I can go out there and run great routes, but you still have to compete with the top guys and that's the part I have to clear up.
"There's a lot I have to make up on missing football for four months. It definitely sets you back because football is something you need to work on every day. I just can't wait to get started with the QBs and get back to feeling like myself."