Sammy Watkins' 2015 season went from bad to worse Tuesday night when he lashed out at those critical of him for missing time this season because of injuries.
In a since-deleted post on his Instagram account, the full text of which is below, Watkins pointed out the NFL has a 100-percent injury rate before telling his critics to "get a life."
The full text reads:
Photo source: Twitter feed of @BillyKorhummel
Earlier Tuesday, Watkins posted a photograph with his daughter at Disney World. There were the typical negative comments that can sometimes be found in the social-media cesspool, including those that called Watkins a "bum" and asked him not to twist an ankle "walking down the street."
Whether or not Watkins' rant was in direct response to those comments, he walked back his post a short time later on Twitter when he tweeted "Message wasn't for fans for whomever have a problem with athletes being injured."
UPDATE: Watkins has responded on his Instagram page with the following message: "Just want to Thank all my fans for their support please don't retract yesterday's statement. My frustration is wanting to help the team and win for the city of Buffalo and for my teammates. As a player we need critics and also fans that's apart of the game, majority of the negative comments were from other fans not the Bills fans. My comments were still inappropriate don't matter what fan or who others cheer for we all represent the NFL shield Therefore #letsgobuffalo"
There are a few issues here. Watkins is right about those who criticize athletes about injuries -- especially when that criticism via social media can so often be over the top.
His frustration is understandable, given that injuries have been a constant theme for him since entering the NFL. Watkins has 11 catches for 147 yards this season. That yardage total ranks tied for 133rd in the league. The pressure that comes with being selected No. 4 overall, and the Bills using two first-round draft picks to acquire him, will hang over Watkins until he starts to deliver in a manner that corresponds to his draft spot.
There is a conversation to be had about Watkins' ability to stay on the field this season. The fact that he's missed time with two separate injuries -- and was hurt three different times as a rookie -- means the "injury prone" tag is going to start being tossed out there. There is time for Watkins to erase that stigma, but it has to happen soon. The Bills are 3-4. Their season, which started with such high expectations, is hanging in the balance.
The Bills need Watkins on the field. That's not criticism.
But where Watkins veers off path -- and proceeds to go straight off a cliff -- is when he stoops to the level of those he's critical of.
Telling people to "get a life," calling them "losers" and accusing them of being jealous of him because they're not in the NFL is a good way to alienate just about anyone.
The people working those "little jobs" are the ones paying for tickets, buying No. 14 jerseys and otherwise rooting for a team that's missed the playoffs 15 years running.
Story topics: Sammy Watkins