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Vic Carucci's Bills Wake-Up Call: Playoff hopes largely rest on Watkins pushing through pain

Anthony Lynn couldn't have been more succinct.

Sammy Watkins has a broken foot, the Buffalo Bills' offensive coordinator said Thursday. That cold, hard fact isn't going to change through the final five games on the schedule.

Watkins will deal with pain every time he steps onto the field for a practice or a game. His tolerance of that pain will determine how much and how effectively he can practice and play.

So with the Bills' playoff chances likely dependent upon their making a 5-0 run, Watkins has to push himself through the pain. He's the only legitimate difference-making receiver on the roster. For that matter, he's pretty much the only relevant receiver on the roster who can, loosely, qualify as healthy enough to play.

It is Watkins or bust.

He knows it. Lynn and Rex Ryan are making sure to remind everyone else of it, too -- especially Watkins.

At this point, the Bills will take whatever they can get from him. If it's three catches, as was the case against Jacksonville last Sunday, fine, particularly if one goes for 62 yards as was the case with his lone major contribution to the Bills' 28-21 victory.

The Bills are likely to need much more Sunday when they face Derek Carr and the rest of the Oakland Raiders' highly explosive passing game.

Can Watkins give it to them? That's why the push is on.

The offseason surgery that repair the stress fracture that Watkins suffered in his left foot apparently hasn't resolved the issue. At least one medical expert has weighed in on Twitter to say that Watkins, like other high-profile NFL receivers (Dez Bryant and Julian Edelman), is destined for a second procedure and then he'll be fine.

Perhaps that's true. But it doesn't do anything to help the Bills now.

All that can help them now is Watkins pushing through the pain.

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