Bills GM Doug Whaley is walking back his comments from a Tuesday radio interview in which he said football is a "violent game that I personally don't think humans are supposed to play."
Whaley issued a statement Wednesday through the Bills clarifying his remarks.
"Clearly I used a poor choice of words in my comment yesterday morning," the statement read. "As a former player who has the utmost respect and love for the game, the point that I was trying to make is that football is a physical game and injuries are a part of it."
Whaley, as ESPN reported, was responding to a question about the health of Bills' receiver Sammy Watkins, and whether the first-round pick was injury-prone. Watkins is currently recovering from surgery on his broken foot, but is expected to return for the regular season.
In his statement, Whaley praised the game of football and the safety advances in equipment and rule changes.
"Playing football no doubt is very physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging, and that is all part of what makes the game so compelling to play and watch. The game has more protection for players now than ever, thanks largely to the safety advancements and numerous rule changes made by our league and promoted to all levels of football. I believe our game continues to have a bright future and I hope that this statement provides clarity as to the intent of my earlier comment."
In the Tuesday interview with Buffalo radio station WGR 550, Whaley took issue with the notion that Watkins, who Whaley traded up to get with the No. 4 pick in the 2014 draft, is injury-prone.
"I wouldn't say [he's injury-prone]. If you look at his game log, he's only missed three games," Whaley said. "So is he injury-prone? I wouldn't say that. Are things going to come up with a guy like this? We hope that gets limited in the future."
He then went into his general thoughts about football. Whaley's remark was unprompted and he wasn't led into that answer, according to ESPN.
The Bills have another PR issue on their hands as well after unveiling a stringent media policy that outlined that reporters weren't prohibited from saying which Bills players dropped passes or threw interceptions at OTAs.
The policy immediately drew backlash from NFL writers and the Pro Football Writers Association.
We at @PFWAwriters have inquired about Bills' practice policy, but fairly certain no Ws and Ls determined in tweets about dropped passes.— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) May 24, 2016
This is my 38th year covering the NFL. I've asked many, many coaches to give me one instance in which media won or lost a game. None could.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 24, 2016