The New England Patriots aren't the only team snakebitten by injuries to wide receivers. While the Patriots could be missing Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola for the summer- Edelman for a foot surgery and Amendola for a knee surgery- the Buffalo Bills are in the same boat.
While it was already known that Bills #2 receiver Robert Woods underwent groin surgery and is cleared for camp, the team's #1 receiver underwent foot surgery three weeks ago and the potential loss of 2014 4th overall pick Sammy Watkins is far greater for Buffalo.
Buffalo News' Ty Dunne reports that Watkins suffered a broken foot and ESPN's Adam Schefter notes that Watkins will likely miss the preseason. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport counters that the surgery involved a screw in Watkins' foot, but that the receiver should be ready for camp.
If you ask Watkins, he says he's "doing great."
To all my fans I'm doing great, can't believe everything you hear. Thanks for checking on me gotta love you guys. #BUFFLOVE— King Me (@sammywatkins) May 16, 2016
If this sounds familiar, it's because it echoes Edelman's situation.
The Bills will seriously miss Watkins if he isn't 100% at the start of the season because their depth chart took a major hit in the offseason. While #1 receiver Watkins recovers from a foot injury and #2 receiver Woods comes back from a groin injury, #3 receiver Chris Hogan has joined the Patriots and #4 receiver Percy Harvin has retired.
Buffalo will have to rely on tight end Charles Clay as their only fully healthy receiving option, and the Patriots have had Clay's number. The Bills tight end collected 33 yards and a touchdown on 4 receptions over two games against the Patriots in 2015. Safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty have done a great job in coverage.
Watkins had slightly more success, with 96 yards and a touchdown on 9 receptions over two games, but it should be noted that the Patriots limited Watkins to his 2nd worst day over his final 10 games in 2015. Once the Patriots put Malcolm Butler on Watkins, instead of using Bradley Fletcher, Watkins was limited in his production.
Another reason Watkins' foot deserves monitoring is that the Patriots host the Bills in week 4 of the 2016 season. If Watkins is not back at 100%, then the Patriots will be in a great position to overcome the potential loss of Tom Brady to suspension.
The Jets and Dolphins seem to have avoided whatever receiver curse was placed on the division, but, then again, the Jets don't have a quarterback and the Dolphins were the worst team in the division in 2015, so perhaps they aren't unscathed.