Bills receiver Sammy Watkins is playing with a broken bone in his left foot, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said Thursday.
Watkins had a screw put in his foot during the offseason to help repair a broken bone. He played in the Bills' first two games of the season before being placed on injured reserve to deal with lingering pain from the surgery, but the break was thought to be healed.
Watkins was activated before last week's game against the Jaguars. He caught three passes for 80 yards while playing 25 plays (45%).
Asked if Watkins could see a bigger role this week against Oakland, Lynn said, "Well, I mean, the guy has a broken bone in his foot. I don't know if he's going to play one play or 20 plays. So we'll just see how big his role is. I'd like to keep him in there the whole time, but I can't say. He's tough, he's very determined to stay on the football field, but he has a broken bone in his foot at the end of the day."
Lynn repeated multiple times that the bone is broken.
"It's a pain tolerance deal and I think he's tough as hell playing through it," Lynn said.
After practicing last Wednesday, Watkins claimed he was "not injured anymore, I want to just say I’m over that and I’m just trying to move forward and play." He repeated that after Sunday's game, saying, "The foot is no issue."
Watkins added last week that he was not concerned about the injury lingering – "that’s what I got the surgery for," he said. "If I feel like it’s not healed the right way, [I'll] just go get surgery and come back the next year and be healed up, but right now I feel pretty good."
Lynn was asked Thursday if he was at least certain Watkins could finish the season before needing another procedure.
"I'm not certain," he said, stressing "not." "Last I heard, the guy has a broken bone in his foot. I'm just thankful to have him for any time he can give us."
Asked when the last he had heard was, Lynn said the information was as current as last week before Watkins was activated from injured reserve.
Still, Watkins practiced Thursday in a limited function and is expected to play Sunday against the Raiders. He was held out of practice Wednesday after telling trainers his foot was still sore from Sunday's game. He declined interview requests Wednesday and wasn’t in the locker room Thursday.
"He looked good today," coach Rex Ryan said Thursday before Lynn met with the media. "He was able to do quite a bit today. ... I believe (he'll play) unless there’s some kind of setback."
The Bills' other starting receiver, Marquise Goodwin, picked up a wrist injury near the end of Thursday's practice and didn't finish the session, Ryan said, though the severity is not yet known. Percy Harvin was absent again as he deals with migraines, making it a week straight of not practicing.
The only positive news on the wide receiver front Thursday was that Robert Woods (knee) was seen in the locker room without crutches. He said he feels he can return this season.
#Bills OC Anthony Lynn says Sammy Watkins is "tough as hell" for playing with a broken bone in his foot. It's still broken? He says yes.
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) December 1, 2016
Cornerback Ronald Darby remained in concussion protocol Thursday and is not expected to play against the Raiders. Thursday’s full injury report:
Did not participate: WR Robert Woods (knee), WR Percy Harvin (illness/migraines), CB Ronald Darby (concussion).
Limited: LG Richie Incognito (neck), DT Marcell Dareus (abdominal), RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring), LB Preston Brown (wrist), S Sergio Brown (hamstring), RG John Miller (shoulder), WR Sammy Watkins (foot), LT Cordy Glenn (back), S James Ihedigbo (ankle), TE Charles Clay (knee), LB Lorenzo Alexander (ankle), WR Marquise Goodwin (wrist).
Full: LB Zach Brown (hand), QB Tyrod Taylor (groin).