Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins played through pain during his team's 29-10 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 14 to register a one-touchdown, 117-yard performance.
No injury is going to slow down Buffalo Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
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Watkins shook off the effects of a preseason rib injury and several hits he took from Miami Dolphins defenders to finish with a touchdown and 117 receiving yards in a 29-10 win over Miami on Sept. 14, per ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter Mike Rodak:
"For Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins, practice was one thing. The fourth overall pick dazzled in training camp with multiple awe-inspiring catches caught on video.
"Translating that over to a game came slowly. Watkins injured his ribs in the preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers before returning for the preseason finale and leaving again with a similar injury. Last week, three catches in the first quarter against the Chicago Bears were the extent of his production in an overtime win.
"That all changed Sunday when Watkins broke through with an eight-catch, 117-yard performance in a 29-10 win over the Miami Dolphins.
"Watkins was targeted 11 times, while all other Bills totaled 15 targets. Watkins' 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter was the Bills' lone passing touchdown of the game and the first career score for the first receiver taken in May's draft.
"'It was amazing,' Watkins said. 'Just to see how the fans got involved and to have my first TD (at) Ralph was amazing.'
"Watkins continues to play through pain. He came off the field twice Sunday, including on the first drive after taking hits from defenders. In one case, he was hunched over on the sideline as the offense was on the field.
"But in both cases, he was checked out by trainers and returned to action.
"'I feel great,' Watkins said of his health. 'We got the win, and that's the ultimate goal. We just have to keep working.'
"Given his apparent discomfort, the Bills will need to be careful how much they work Watkins moving forward. He remains an important part of their offense and a rib injury in September that lingers into November would be a problem.
"For now, Watkins has shown an ability to play through the pain after a slow start, that's exactly what the Bills need from him.
"'It happened that a lot of calls and progressions had him getting the ball and coming open,' quarterback EJ Manuel said. 'I'm very proud of him.'"
Bills rookie WR Sammy Watkins just scored his first career TD and recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game, welcome to the league— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 14, 2014
In another team development, the Bills honored their late founding owner, Ralph Wilson, Jr., before kickoff against the Dolphins on Sunday, according to Anna Stoizenberg of the Bills' official website:
"Shortly before kickoff at the first home game in Bills history without Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., the founding owner was celebrated in a tribute that included the unveiling of his name in gold on the Wall of Fame.
"At the pregame ceremony on the field at an electric Ralph Wilson Stadium, moments before the first kickoff at Ralph Wilson Stadium following Ralph Wilson Jr.'s passing, the Bills founding owner was honored.
"Bills controlling owner Mary Wilson, the widow of Ralph Wilson, Jr., was flanked by Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas and a number of other Bills Wall of Famers at midfield.
"'Mr. Wilson was a true gentleman in every sense of the word,' said (Bills annoncer John) Murphy. 'He was a man of high ideals who set a high standard for himself and those he worked with. Today, on behalf of the Buffalo Bills we would like to forever honor his legacy by turning the letters of his name gold on the prestigious Wall of Fame, a symbol of the standard he set for all of us.'
"Though his name had been on the Wall of Fame since his induction in 1989, it was a surprise to many including Mary Wilson when it was revealed in gold, in its home centered predominantly below the main video board.
"But in what was a surprise to nobody in the house, as Jim Kelly took the mic to speak about the Wilson family, the crowd erupted, giving the beloved Bills quarterback a standing ovation that lasted several (minutes).
"'He was like a father figure to us,' said Kelly from a podium at midfield. 'And we will forever miss him.'"
The Bills upped their record to 2-0 while the Dolphins fell to 1-1.
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