Before Sammy Watkins went on injured reserve with recurring foot soreness at the end of September, Rex Ryan had mentioned there was an incident where he got stepped on near the end of a walkthrough practice.
The way Ryan said it – offhand at the end of a Friday scrum in boyish, gee-whiz type of way – made it seem kind of funny: A guy got stepped on, LOL, send it to America's Funniest Home Videos. But for a player still dealing with pain from an offseason foot surgery, it also seemed potentially serious.
Watkins was asked about the incident for the first time Thursday and said it was no laughing matter. Watkins said it was "basically like it broke again, but it didn't."
"It was a serious thing," he said. "It was a mistake. I was going full speed and the guy wasn't. It was walkthroughs and I'm a full-speed guy. The lineman did his step back and kind of got me pretty good on it. I was feeling good during that week, [and it] kind of just set me back. And it was like, the gameplan is what it is and if you can't go or be full speed then we're not going to put you in that situation."
Ryan mentioned the incident on Sept. 23, a Friday before the Bills' Week Three matchup with Arizona. Watkins sat out that game and was placed on injured reserve the following Friday before the New England game.
Rex Ryan says Sammy Watkins got stepped on in a walk through this week. Won't help his foot pain. #bills
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) September 23, 2016
"I just got stepped on," he said. "Being with this injury, kind of tweaked it. They kind of felt the need that I needed to sit out. So that's basically what I did."
So, Watkins was asked, it sounds like the incident caused a significant setback, yes?
"I would definitely say yes, being with the injury I have," he said. "Not being in that situation – I would never get stepped on with my foot. So being stepped on was like [grits teeth, sucks in air], basically like it broke again, but it didn't. I was lucky that I got out of there healthy."
Watkins wouldn't say which offensive lineman stepped on him but said he didn't hold any ill will toward him because he knows it was an accident. But it sounds like this was a pretty serious incident.
Story topics: Sammy Watkins