By Nick Shook
Read full post on NFL.com
Sammy Watkins is going to get the rest and recovery time his foot needs.
The Buffalo Bills placed Watkins on injured reserve Friday, the team announced. The Bills also announced they filled Watkins’ roster spot by claiming wide receiver Justin Hunter.
Watkins’ move to IR puts him on the shelf for at least eight weeks, and brings a temporary end to the weekly question of “will Sammy Watkins play Sunday?” It’s been an inquiry since Watkins complained of discomfort in his foot — which was surgically repaired in the offseason — after the Bills‘ Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Buffalo moved forward by saying the remedy would simply focus on pain management, and not surgery. Watkins then proceeded to miss last week’s game, a blowout win over the Cardinals, and has missed four games in his career due to injury issues.
It’s a stark contrast from two weeks ago, when Watkins told reporters he was going to play against the New York Jets (he did), and Buffalo had no plans to shut the receiver down. Next Gen Stats observed how his max speed dropped significantly after he got up gingerly during the second quarter of the Jets loss, and everyone watching Thursday Night Football noticed his absence on drives late in the game (he played just six downs in the fourth quarter). It was the last we saw of the wideout.
Surgery still isn’t on deck, though, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport added that the Bills opted to place Watkins on IR to give him time to heal and take the stress off his foot, because although the wideout could play, it doesn’t help anyone if he’s only at 50 or 75 percent.