Bills GM Doug Whaley expects Watkins to be ready for Week 1, Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News reports.
Watkins recently suffered a Jones fracture, which typically requires 8-12 weeks to heal. Dez Bryant returned to the field seven weeks after suffering a similar injury in Week 1 last season, but he never looked like his usual self over the final two months of the campaign. Atlanta's Julio Jones has dealt with the injury twice, and while his recoveries took much longer than Bryant's, he returned in top form both times. Watkins will be 16-17 weeks removed from the injury by the time Week 1 rolls around, so the Bills' optimism isn't without cause. It's even possible he could return for a preseason game or two, though he'll likely miss most (or all) of training camp.
General manager Doug Whaley seems to think Lawson will miss part of the regular season, BuffaloBills.com reports. ""It's too early in the process, but with everything that we thought going into the surgery it's safe to say he's going to miss some of the early part of the season," Whaley said Tuesday. "Let's clear the air because I know there's a narrative out there. We were aware of the shoulder, but we wanted to take measures to prevent another flare up during the season.
While Bills fans are now a bit ticked at the way both Lawson and Whaley originally scoffed at Mel Kiper's suggestions that the player would need shoulder surgery, the Bills are taking a long-term approach and they still feel they got a player that's going to have a key role. Unless Lawson can somehow hit the season running, however, he's simply going to miss too much acclimation time to the new level to be IDP worthy out of the gate.
Hughes finished the 2015 season with 52 tackles, five sacks, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He played in all 16 games for the fourth straight season, while seeing action on 92.5 percent of the defensive snaps.
Hughes picked up 67 points in standard IDP scoring after putting up 90 the previous season, and that's mostly due to the drop in sacks. If your league counts passes defensed, he closed that gap a bit. In truth, almost every member of the Bills' defensive line struggled with Rex Ryan's new system, and there's little reason Hughes can't get back to double-digit sacks in 2016 as his familiarity in a complex scheme grows. Hughes also took some dumb penalties in 2015, and it won't sit well with the coaching staff if he doesn't clean that up permanently.
Powell was signed by the Eagles on Tuesday, Zach Berman of philly.com reports.
Powell, a 6-foot-2 linebacker, missed the 2015 season with a torn ACL as a member of the Bills. He figures to provide veteran depth in a thin linebacker corps, while Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks, and Mychal Kendricks remain the expected starters.
Though Amendola underwent a procedure on his left knee this offseason and also had bone spurs removed from his ankle, ESPN's Mike Reiss relays that he has been informed that the wideout's ailments have been portrayed as "minor" and "not a long-term" concern.
The report also encouragingly notes that Amendola's rehab "has been on a positive track and he's already moving well." While the wideout's on-field activities figure to be limited as training camp approaches, the ESPN report offers an optimistic angle which suggests that Amendola in on pace to be ready for the start of the coming season. In the meantime, with top wideout Julian Edelman bouncing back from foot woes, the likes of Chris Hogan, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Malcolm Mitchell and Devin Lucien should see added reps during the Patriots' upcoming OTAs and minicamps.
The Patriots are highly optimistic Edelman (foot) will be ready for training camp, CSN New England reports.
Edelman broke his left foot Nov. 15 and missed the rest of the regular season, but he returned for New England's two playoff games, catching 17 passes for 153 yards on a whopping 29 targets. He then had a minor clean-up procedure on his foot during the offseason, and while he was recently spotted wearing a protective boot, the Patriots reportedly aren't too concerned. Assuming he recovers as expected, Edelman could spend a good portion of camp working with Jimmy Garoppolo, who's in line to replace Tom Brady (suspension) for the first four games of the season. Though facing long odds, Brady may file further appeals in an effort to have his suspension overturned or delayed.
Although the Patriots continue to take a cautious approach, Lewis (knee) is progressing well in his recovery form a torn ACL, ESPN.com reports.
With training camp still two months away, the Patriots have no incentive to rush Lewis' progress. Having suffered his torn ACL in early November, Lewis will be 10 months removed from the incident by Week 1. If healthy, he figures to again work in tandem with LeGarrette Blount in the New England backfield. Lewis is believed to be on track for Week 1.
Brady and his legal team will file their appeal Monday of the four-game suspension that was reinstated April 25 for his alleged role in "Deflategate", the Boston Herald reports.
Brady will seek a second hearing by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will then have to decide by majority vote whether to rehear Brady's case. Should Brady be granted another hearing, he and the NFLPA's legal team are expected to present a case centered around commissioner Roger Goodell's mishandling of the situation, particularly as it regards to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. Monday marked the last day for Brady to file his appeal, and if the court refuses to rehear the case, Brady could then appeal his four-game suspension to the Supreme Court.
Butler missed the Pro Bowl due to a sprained knee, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports. "There was a play on third down [in the AFC championship game] when I made a tackle or something like that and bent my knee back," Butler said Friday in San Francisco. "It swelled up pretty bad. I didn't feel it during the game because of all the adrenaline pumping. When we got back, it swelled up pretty bad, and the team just decided it was a good thing to sit me out."
Butler became instantly famous with his game-winning interception of Russell Wilson in last year's Super Bowl, and the loss of Darrelle Revis in free agency elevated him to the Patriots' No. 1 cornerback. The pseudo promotion worked wonders, as Butler notched 67 tackles (56 solo), 15 passes defended, and two interceptions while regularly drawing the opponent's top wide receiver over the course of his second campaign. While his recovery effort won't include surgery, rest and regular icing sessions have been his regimen to date.
Steward has been placed on injured reserve due to a back injury suffered in Sunday's win over Houston, BuffaloBills.com reports.
Starter Nigel Bradham may not be able to make it back from his ankle injury this week. If that doesn't happen, the Bills would be down their top two guys at the inside linebacker spot next to Preston Brown.