Bills receiver Watkins says he's set for start of season - Sports Illustrated

Bills receiver Watkins says he's set for start of season

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Bills receiver Sammy Watkins doesn't need to wait two weeks to show his surgically repaired left foot is fully healed.

Bursting into a wide grin, Watkins proclaimed he'd be ready if the regular season opened this weekend.

''Oh, I mean, I'd score a couple of touchdowns,'' Watkins said after practice Monday.

With just under two weeks to go before Buffalo opens the season at Baltimore on Sept. 11, Watkins is brimming with confidence after saying he feels no after-effects from spending the past two days practicing at full speed.

''I've done knocked two days out and my foot feels fine,'' he said. ''It's right where it needs to be.''

And that's a big step in the right direction for the Bills and their top receiver, who had two screws inserted into his foot to repair a stress fracture in April.

The Bills have been cautious in limiting Watkins' workload since he was cleared for practice three weeks ago. He sat out Buffalo's first two preseason games before appearing in just two series at Washington on Friday. Coach Rex Ryan has already ruled out Watkins and many other starters from playing in the Bills preseason finale at Detroit on Thursday.

Though he would have preferred more playing time to re-establish his chemistry with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the third-year player said he's trying to make up for it in practice.

Watkins said he's staying on the field for six and seven consecutive plays as opposed to the first three weeks, when he would head to the sideline after a play or two.

''Getting full-speed reps really helps me,'' he said. ''It doesn't help me when I go out there and do things 80 percent or 85. I'm a full-speed guy so right now I'm trying to get that full-speed mentality.''

Watkins and Taylor are attempting to pick up the prolific pace they enjoyed in closing last season. In his final six games, Watkins combined for 35 catches for 679 yards and six touchdowns.

Watkins says he's over the hurdle of fearing he might re-injure the foot.

''I think it's really mental,'' he said. ''You're healed. It's not going to break, snap or anything like that. Just go play fast.''

He's also focused on regaining his physical approach, something he can't always simulate in practice.

''I've got to get back nasty,'' Watkins said.

NOTES: WR Marquise Goodwin practiced on a limited basis for the first time since hurting his head in practice on Aug. 23. ... Starting LT Cordy Glenn practiced for a second straight day after missing three weeks with a left ankle injury.


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