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According to Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News, wide receiver Sammy Watkins has a broken foot. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports, however, that Watkins is expected to be ready for the Bills' training camp after having a screw inserted to stabilize what was characterized as "small" break.
According to FOXSports' Mike Garafolo, Watkins' surgery was performed by well-known foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. Garfolo adds the expected recovery time is 6-8 weeks.
Per the Bills, Watkins will recover in time for the season opener so he’s not expected to miss any regular season time.
It's not entirely clear when the injury occurred, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the surgery was performed about three weeks ago. Watkins has been on hand for offseason workouts after an early absence.
Last offseason Watkins had hip surgery and his reps were closely monitored in training camp. It would not be surprising if the Bills take a similar approach with Watkins through the course of the preseason.
Given that he's arguably their top offensive weapon, and the best chance quarterback Tyrod Taylor has to be effective as a passer, missing time isn't the ideal.
That's especially true of a player looking to build on a the late-season run he put together to close out 2015.
The former first-round pick started the season slowly due to injuries and a lack of targets. He missed three of Buffalo's first seven games and at the bye week and had just 11 receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns at that point.
But you'd be hard pressed to find a receiver better than Watkins over the final nine weeks of the season, as Watkins caught 49 passes for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. He had over 100 yards receiving in five of those final nine games and went over 80 yards receiving in the final six games of the season. Watkins had the second-most yards from deep passes (20-plus air yards) in the entire league at 606 yards.
He ended up averaging 17.5 yards per reception and, as Profootballfocus.com noted, he was often short-changed by the rest of the offense as passes didn't quite get to him even after he did excellent work to get open.
Bottom line? Even with this latest development, expect to pay a bit of a premium this summer thanks to last year's stretch-run surge -- unless the foot is still an issue when training camp opens.