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Bills notebook: Sammy Watkins makes more progress

Sammy Watkins continues to make progress in his recovery from foot surgery.

At Tuesday's start of mandatory minicamp and for the first time this offseason, the Buffalo Bills' wide receiver took part in 11-on-11 team drills. He was on the field at New Era Field for four or five plays.

During last week's OTA sessions, Watkins only participated on a limited basis, doing individual work.

"It was just really, Sammy was in a position, going into practice, where he felt in a good place," coach Sean McDermott told reporters. "Last week it was individual, and he built a nice foundation last week. And the pitch count" Tuesday "was right around four or five reps of team drills, and he did a nice job."

McDermott had said earlier in the day the Bills' focus was  to get Watkins ready for training camp, which begins in about six weeks.

"He's worked extremely hard in the training room, attacking the rehab process, and now, these last couple weeks, we've been able to get him back on the field," the coach said.


In his return to practice after being sidelined with an ankle injury, John Miller found himself sharing starting reps at right guard with Vladimir Ducasse, who the Bills signed at the start of free agency.

Miller had been a starter since joining the Bills in 2015 as a third-round draft pick from Louisville.

"There's nothing set in stone," McDermott said. "We're just rotating those guys. The great part about it is we've got a lot of confidence in John and then Vlad as well, and Richie. We feel good about those guys as well as Ryan inside, so we feel real good about our situation in there."

Asked if Miller was fully recovered, the coach said, "He's working back to that."


Running back LeSean McCoy sat out Tuesday's practice for what McDermott described as a "stomach virus."

Asked how much he expected McCoy to practice through the balance of the three-day minicamp, McDermott said, "We'll see. Obviously, like any stomach bug, you're never really sure how long it's going to last. The important thing is that we get him hydrated and in a position where he can perform."

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams also missed Tuesday's workout with "neck stiffness," according to the coach.

Offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, who McDermott said is "week-to-week" with an ankle injury, watched practice while wearing a walking boot.


The Bills waived tight end Blake Annen Tuesday. McDermott said the move was not related to the team's interest in free-agent tight end Gary Barnidge, who visited the team last month.

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