Sammy Watkins overcomes broken ribs, becoming threat for Bills

Sammy Watkins has caught 12 balls for 279 yards and 3 TDs in his last two games. (USATSI)
Sammy Watkins has 12 catches for 279 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games. (USATSI)

Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins could put on a strong push in the second half for rookie of the year honors, especially now that he's feeling much better in recent weeks after playing the early part of the season with broken ribs, according to league sources.

Watkins has played through the rib injury, though it did hold him back at times. His ascent in recent weeks has been at least in part due to his improving health.

Buffalo moved up in the top 10 to land Watkins in the NFL Draft, but he missed considerable time in the offseason due to injury and then broke the ribs just before the start of the season. The rookie is supposed to be the focal point of the Bills offense, and with top running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller both out, his role will be even more important.

Watkins caught 12 balls for 279 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games – in essence matching his production from the previous six games in just that span. Sources said he began feeling better and fully healed in mid-October. On a team with quarterback Kyle Orton, who is extremely limited in his mobility and with an offensive line that has issues, Watkins is one of the few quality weapons the Bills possess. If Buffalo is going to maintain a playoff drive, Watkins' play and the strong performance by the defense, will likely be key.

CBS Sports Insider

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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