Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said Thursday that he thinks Sammy Watkins is "tough as hell" for playing through a broken bone in his foot. Watkins wouldn't confirm that in a short interview Friday but said he expects to play Sunday and is solely focused on the Raiders.
"I’m fine," the third-year receiver said. "I got through the game last week and I felt pretty good, didn’t have no hiccups. And now it’s just really, just keep doing the things in the training room, rehabbing, really focused on the Raiders.
"You go out there, catch a couple balls, the foot can go out the window," he added. "Once you get warmed up, hit, tackled a couple times, you’re not worried about the injury – you’re really concerned about the team and trying to make those plays."
Watkins also said the foot issue was "kind of out the window" in September before he was placed on injured reserve. But he returned from IR last week and caught three passes for 80 yards in the win against the Jaguars while playing 25 of the Bills' 55 offensive plays (45%). He said he could play even more this week.
"I think if it’s needed or if we’re in that situation, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be on the field," he said. "I think I should be fine. I come to practice, run around and have fun, do – I don’t know how many plays, but I just go."
The Bills (6-5) may need to win their final five games of the season to end their 16-year playoff drought.
Watkins said he had a decision to make about returning last week or sitting out longer to allow his foot to heal more, but he implied it wasn't much of a call.
"I think there’s a hundred other players that got something hurt or broken on them, so I’m not complaining," he said. "It’s the game of football. It’s physical. Guys play hurt, injured every week."
Watkins was held out of Wednesday's practice and was limited Thursday and Friday, earning a questionable designation for the game.
“All I can tell you is Sammy contributed in a big way last week and we expect him to do the same thing this week," coach Rex Ryan said. "He’s going to play.”
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) December 2, 2016
Watkins said he didn't have any pain during last week's game, but was sore for several days after. He repeated Friday that playing through the injury is "a mindset."
"Once you go out there with the mindset of I’m going to make plays, I’m going to help this team when the ball comes my way, that’s my mindset," he said. "I’m not thinking about an injury or how I’m going to run this route, it’s really just ‘I gotta get this job done.’ So for me it’s really having fun and playing, not worry about my foot."
Receiver Marquise Goodwin practiced Friday after leaving with a wrist injury at the end of Thursday's session and is expected to play. Receiver Percy Harvin was ruled out as he continues to deal with migraines, as was receiver Robert Woods (knee).
Cornerback Ronald Darby (concussion) has not been cleared to return but was seen in the locker room Friday and appeared to be in good spirits.
Full injury report
OUT: WR Percy Harvin (illness/migraines), CB Ronald Darby (concussion), WR Robert Woods (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Lorenzo Alexander (ankle), S Sergio Brown (hamstring), TE Charles Clay (knee), DT Marcell Dareus (abdominal), RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring), LT Cordy Glenn (back), WR Marquise Goodwin (wrist), S James Ihedigbo (ankle), LG Richie Incognito (neck), RG John Miller (shoulder), WR Sammy Watkins (foot).
No injury designation: QB Tyrod Taylor (groin), LB Preston Brown (hand), LB Zach Brown (wrist).
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) December 2, 2016
The Bills were nearly shut out in the first half last Sunday against Jacksonville. They trailed 7-0 with a minute left in the second quarter when they were faced with fourth and 1 from the Jaguars’ 13-yard line.
Instead of settling for a short field-goal attempt that would probably put points on the board, the Bills gambled for a fourth-down run. Rookie Jonathan Williams got the carry and plunged ahead 6 yards for the first down.
LeSean McCoy ran in for a touchdown on the next play. The Bills offense woke up in the second half, scoring three times on the way to a 28-21 win.
“I just knew I had to get it,” Williams said of getting the call in such a big spot. “Gotta put it on your back for the team. Everybody else has done their part, I just wanted to do my part.”
Williams, the Bills’ fifth-round pick from Arkansas, is fourth on the team in rushing behind LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Tayor and Mike Gillislee.
But with Gillislee out last week due to a hamstring injury, Williams took on an expanded role. Reggie Bush only played three snaps.
“I feel like I did pretty well,” Williams said. “I feel like I’m getting the trust of the coaches each week.”
Here’s a trivia question: When was the Bills’ last win in Oakland?
The Bills have done poorly on the road against the Raiders, losing 10 of their last 11 meetings. But it’s a bit of a trick question.
The Bills beat the Raiders in 1991 when they played in Los Angeles. But the last win that actually happened in Oakland was 50 years ago: Nov. 24, 1966.
Jack Kemp’s Bills won a 31-20 decision that day while Raiders quarterback Tom Flores tossed two interceptions. The Bills lost the AFL championship to the Kansas City Chiefs at War Memorial Stadium a month later, which would’ve earned them a meeting with Bart Starr’s Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I.
Story topics: Sammy Watkins