Bills coach Doug Marrone defends decision to play Sammy Watkins in preseason finale

By Michelle Kapusta,

On Thursday, the Buffalo Bills lost their preseason finale against the Detroit Lions, but the real concern was losing rookie receiver Sammy Watkins to a rib injury.

The Associated Press reported that after the game, Bills head coach Doug Marrone defended his decision to start the wide receiver in the meaningless game.

"One of the big questions is the quarterback with Sammy, they really haven't played in a lot of games," Marrone said after the 23-0 loss. "You don't want to just throw them in there during the season."

ESPN noted that Watkins, who first bruised his ribs on Aug. 16 in a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, re-injured them after a hit from Lions linebacker Ashlee Palmer. He did not return to the game.

During his postgame press conference, Marrone did not give a timetable of when he thinks Watkins will be able to return.

The former Clemson Tiger was the fourth overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and the Bills expect big things from him this season. The team is hoping that this latest injury does not keep him sidelined for too long.

Buffalo starts the season in nine days when they travel to Chicago to play the Bears.



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