The wait is over. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins is planning on playing Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"I definitely should be out there Sunday," Watkins said. "It's a big game."
Watkins suffered a calf injury Week 3 at Miami and was sidelined the next two games. He was a limited participant at Wednesday's practice and, trust him, he's seen the offense's struggles through those two games. Without Watkins, the Bills haven't been able to stretch the field. So he's not worried at all about the calf popping on him.
The 2014 fourth overall pick isn't thinking about reaggravation. Certainly not when his offense needs him.
"Injuries happen every day," Watkins said. "I can't really go out there hoping that it doesn't pop. If it does, there's more life to live. You've got the next year and the next year. I'm going out there trying to win a game. If it pops, it pops. If it doesn't, hopefully I'll be right for the next week."
Watkins repeated that "yes sir" he expects to play. He's continuing to undergo treatment on the calf and ramping up his reps at practice more every day so he can give the Bills 40-50 snaps. While admitting he might not be in his best shape, Watkins plans on pushing through.
It'd be easy to let the muscle heal this week, the next, and then the following bye week. But this is also a 3-2 Bills team in need of playmakers. In limited action, he has caught seven passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.
Watkins has seen the Bills offense without him and it's not pretty.
The word he uses is "basic."
"I understand the presence of me on the field," Watkins said. "It's a different game plan. It's a different scheme. I feel like the offense has been basic without me out there. Defenses have been having their way with just stacking the box with the run game. Just me being out there, whether I run a route, whether I catch a ball or not I think I'm going to open a lot of things up.
"I need to be out there on the field. It'll definitely help the offense, the coaches and the players and myself. I get freed up a lot sometimes, too. After Percy catches two deep balls, then you've got to switch the coverage to him and it'll leave me available with one on one coverage. I definitely need to be out there."