Former Bills No.1 WR goes to IR with hamstring injury

Sammy Watkins


Sammy Watkins runs away after making a catch in a Green Bay Packers game.

Sammy Watkins sees another shortened season due to injury.

The former No. 4 overall for the Buffalo Bills has been plagued by injuries throughout his nine-year career and has not played a full 16-game season since his rookie season. Watkins will now almost miss a significant chunk of this season as the Green Bay Packers announce on Saturday he’s going on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury.

Watkins sees the season coming to an end

Watkins had been Green Bay’s leading receiver in two games and had six catches for 111 yards. He will now miss at least four games after being placed on IR and dealt a blow to a Packers receiving corps that has struggled for consistency.

Days before the Packers announced that Watkins was going to IR, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers praised Watkins and the work he was doing.

“I knew about Sammy and I watched him a bit, but I didn’t really have any familiarity with him, so I didn’t have any expectations or predictions when he came in.” Rodgers told reporters Sept. 21. “He just came in and was a fantastic teammate and a great guy and a really deep thinker and an interesting guy and interests outside of football and very articulate and curious just a fantastic guy. I loved our conversations together. He loves ball, he cares. He recognizes how special this opportunity is for him and we want him to succeed and that this is a springboard for the second half of his career.”

Packers coach Matt LaFleur also praised Watkins, saying he displayed some of the big-play skills that marked his early career.

“I definitely don’t see him just as a possession receiver. I think that was pretty obvious [against the Bears],” La Fleur told reporters. “He still has incredible acceleration. he is so strong He can walk through a ball. It was great to create some explosive pieces with him.”

Watkins has struggled since leaving Buffalo

Despite being considered the top wide receiver out of college — even ahead of others in his drafting class like Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Evans — Watkins only has one season over the 1,000-yard mark. The Bills traded Watkins in 2017, one of the first moves by head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane as part of a major remodeling effort.

He didn’t have the cleanest breakup with the Bills. Watkins later recounted Tyler Dunne of the Bleacher Report that he encountered substance abuse problems in Buffalo, exacerbated by his struggles with injuries.

Watkins said he wants a clean start from Buffalo.

“When Watkins reappeared in July, he sensed nothing but bad energy from Sean McDermott, the Bills’ new head coach. Like McDermott was testing him, triggering him, waging a “mental war” to make him explode. Watkins never requested a trade, but he wanted out. Needed off. Literally stared into a mirror in his dormitory at St. John Fisher College at Bill’s training camp and prayed every night: Get me out of here. Please God.”

Watkins played for the Los Angeles Rams and won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs, but would not come close to another 1,000-yard season. His best season after leaving Buffalo came in 2019 when he made 52 catches for 673 yards and three touchdowns for the Chiefs. Former Bills No.1 WR goes to IR with hamstring injury

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