PITTSFORD – Buffalo Bills rookie Sammy Watkins has a rib injury that kept him out of practice Monday night.
As far as concrete information goes about the injury to the team’s first-round draft pick, that’s all there is to offer.
“Last year, I tried to be right all the time and tell you guys,” coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, explaining why he’s stopped providing any injury updates to the media – instead allowing Scott Berchtold, the team’s vice president of communications, to handle the task. “Injuries are a funny thing. I was right 99.9 percent of the time last year and I was wrong one time and I have to live with that. So I think when it comes down to injuries, I’m going to let Scott handle it.”
Marrone is referring to his proclamation that he was “110 percent” confident quarterback EJ Manuel would play in the 2013 season finale at New England. That, of course, didn’t happen because of a knee injury.
“Unless I know for sure, I am not going to comment on when they’re coming back or when they might come back because it’s too difficult,” Marrone said of injured players. “You have setbacks. You wake up one morning and you have this or that and then I have to stand up here and hear, ‘You told us this and you told us that.’ So, I really don’t know.”
While announcing that he wouldn’t comment on injuries, Marrone did explain the nature of Watkins’ injury can sometimes vary greatly.
“You can practice the next day sometimes. You can come back into a game,” the coach said. “Sometimes on the X-ray it shows that it’s a crack. Sometimes it shows that it’s not and then you take a better X-ray and there is a crack. Sometimes, depending on the player, you can be out two weeks, four weeks, six weeks or two months.
“I’m not going to get into that stuff this year. I appreciate everyone understanding that. Scott is going to handle that. I’ll do my best and tell you who is going to step up in that position and what we’re preparing to do and all those things.”
Watkins rode a stationary bike during a part of the team’s practice on a cool night inside Growney Stadium at St. John Fisher College. Also not practicing were safety Jonathan Meeks (neck) and cornerback Bobby Felder (groin).
Without Watkins, second-year receiver Robert Woods had a good night of practice. Woods and Manuel hooked up for three solid gains during team drills, including the quarterback’s first throw of the night.
“We have a good group. Everybody is ready to play, they’ve been stepping up when we’ve needed them to,” receiver Mike Williams said. “We’re going to get a good chance to see more of these guys now, too.”
Left tackle Cordy Glenn took part in team drills for the first time in training camp Monday. With Glenn back in the lineup, the Bills shifted right tackle Erik Pears to right guard and moved rookie Seantrel Henderson – who had been filling Glenn’s spot – over to right tackle.
“I’m going to see how he does during the week. I think we have to be smart,” Marrone said on increasing Glenn’s workload. “I don’t think we should just throw him right in there. A lot of it will depend on how he’s doing during the week.”