Bills' Sammy Watkins not yet on roster but cleared to practice

Eric Edholm

The good news for the Buffalo Bills is that standout wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been medically cleared to resume practicing. But the team has yet to formally add Watkins to the active roster.

Watkins, who was placed on injured reserve back on Sept. 30 after lingering left foot pain, has been designated as the Bills’ player to return on Wednesday. Although he has been cleared to return to practice on Wednesday, Watkins has yet to be added to the roster, said Bills general manager Doug Whaley.

Watkins still could play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which would be a boost for the team that likely will be without leading receiver Robert Woods because of injury.

Sammy Watkins is expected to practice this week for the Buffalo Bills. (Getty Images)
Sammy Watkins is expected to practice this week for the Buffalo Bills. (Getty Images)

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Watkins does not need to be activated until Dec. 14 before the Bills are forced to make a decision on him. If Watkins isn’t added by that point, his season would be over. Head coach Rex Ryan has hedged when asked about Watkins’ immediate status this week.

“I really don’t know how realistic it is [for Watkins to play Sunday],” Ryan said on Monday, via “I think I speak on behalf of every Buffalo Bill fan: We are hoping he can play some, but we will see how it goes. We obviously won’t put him out there if he is in no condition to play.”

Watkins had offseason surgery on his left foot to fix a broken bone but experienced continued soreness, which interrupted his season. He has played only two games, totaling six catches for 63 yards, and hasn’t played since Week 2 against the New York Jets.

Having him return to the lineup could be a big boost for a Bills team that finds itself in third place in the AFC East and scrapping to try to get into the playoff picture.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!