Sammy Watkins Injury Update: Bills Place WR on Injured Reserve

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2016

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 20:  Sammy Watkins #14 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before the game against the New York Giants on August 20, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats New York 21-0.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills announced Friday that they have placed wide receiver Sammy Watkins on injured reserve as he continues to deal with pain in his surgically repaired foot.  

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Watkins will miss a minimum of eight weeks but could see the field again this season if the team uses its designated-to-return-IR slot on the dynamic pass-catcher. 

To replace Watkins on the active roster, the Bills claimed wide receiver Justin Hunter, according to the team's release. 

As far as Watkins' long-term prospects go, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Buffalo was forced to shut him down for a significant portion of the regular season. 

Following the Bills' Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Daily NewsManish Mehta reported Watkins was playing with severe discomfort in his surgically repaired foot. And while X-rays did not reveal a new break, the recurring pain was enough to hamper Watkins. 

According to Rapoport, Watkins does not have another surgery scheduled. However, he is expected to meet with foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson.

Before he was sidelined for the Bills' Week 3 win over the Arizona Cardinals, Watkins did not resemble the standout star who had helped lift quarterback Tyrod Taylor to new heights last season. Through two games, the 23-year-old managed just six catches for 63 yards and zero touchdowns. 

And now that the Bills are without Watkins for the next two months at a minimum, they'll need to lean on Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Greg Salas and the newly acquired Hunter to help buoy an offense that ranks last in average passing yards per game (163.7).  

Buffalo should continue to deploy running back LeSean McCoy as its primary offensive weapon now that Taylor's receiving corps lacks game-changers. 

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