NFL Injuries

Sammy Watkins Potential Late-Season Return

Photographer: Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon

Oh, Sammy. How you toy with our hearts. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, your foot does not need to go under the knife for a second time, AND a late-season return could be possible. But as fantasy owners, what can we expect?

Watkins landed on IR following the Bills week 3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Still recovering from offseason foot surgery, Watkins played the majority of the team’s offensive snaps through the first 2 weeks (80%), but never really regained the dominance he displayed in late 2015, torching defenses to the tune of 679 yards over the final 6 contests. While his foot did not suffer any major setbacks this season, Watkins’s level of play was clearly affected by the “issue of pain tolerance” — so Rex Ryan and co. felt it was best to place Watkins on IR to let him RICE up (you remember Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, right?).

Fantasy owners who stuck by Sammy’s side (or simply forgot to drop him) could now be rewarded after this latest bit of news. He is eligible to return in week 12, due to the NFL’s new IR rules introduced this season. It’s hard to say how effective Sammy will be, but if your league has deep benches (or, even better, a dedicated IR slot), there will be few more intriguing adds the rest of the season than Sammy Dubs. When healthy, he’s one of the league’s hottest young players — and he could pay huge fantasy dividends for patient owners’ playoff push.

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