Injury roundup: Sammy Watkins returns to practice

The Bills (6-5) travel to Oakland this weekend for a pivotal match against the first-place Raiders (9-2). Buffalo's chances of keeping pace in the AFC playoff race might hinge on whether their star wideout will play. Fortunately, they got some good news on that front Thursday.

Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins returned to practice a day after experiencing foot soreness.

Coach Rex Ryan said Watkins "looked good" and expects him to play barring a setback.

Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said Watkins "has a broken bone in his foot" and he doesn't know "whether he's gonna play one play or 20 plays." Lynn reiterated that Watkins' foot is still broken and that it is a "pain tolerance deal," according to ESPN.

The former Clemson standout injured his foot in Week 2 and returned last week against the Jaguars, making three catches for 80 yards.

Other injuries we are keeping an eye on Thursday:

  1. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice, as did receiver Julian Edelman. However, star tight end Rob Gronkowski (back) did not practice and is scheduled to have surgery Friday to repair a herniated disc and he will be out several weeks, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
  1. Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian didn't practice for a second straight day. Siemian suffered a sprained foot in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs and was seen in a walking boot Wednesday.
  1. Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker again missed practice with a back injury, per the Miami Herald.
  1. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery Saturday and will be placed on injured reserve, ending his season, coach John Fox said.
  1. Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (shoulder) did not practice, according to coach Jay Gruden. "We will just have to wait and see," Gruden said when asked about Reed's availability for Sunday.
  1. Saints running back Mark Ingram (toe) did not participate in the early portion of practice, according to ESPN. His status for Sunday's game against the Lions remains unclear.
  1. The Cowboys expect standout guard La'el Collins (toe) back in late December or in the playoffs, Rapoport reported.
  1. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder, concussion) was limited at practice, however, he remains on track to play Monday against the Jets. With the Colts anticipating Luck to play, the team waived quarterback Stephen Morris and sent him back to the practice squad, Rapoport reported. They activated linebacker Trent Cole off injured reserve.
  1. Cornerback Patrick Peterson (knee) was limited in Cardinals practice on Thursday, while safety Tyrann Mathieu (shoulder) did not practice.
  1. Panthers wideout Kelvin Benjamin (shoulder) was limited in practice on Thursday. He told The Charlotte Observer, however, that he expects to play Sunday night vs. the Seahawks.
  1. Tom Brady (knee) and two of his targets, Julian Edelman (foot) and Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), were limited Thursday in Patriots practice.
  1. The Chiefs have placed defensive lineman Jaye Howard(hip) on the injured reserve list, the team announced.

Linebacker Justin Houston (shoulder) didn't practice Thursday for Kansas City.

  1. Niners wide receiver Quinton Patton (concussion) was limited in practice on Thursday.
  1. Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (knee) was limited Thursday in practice, while safety Earl Thomas (hamstring) was a full participant.
  1. Derek Carr (finger) was a full participant in Raiders practice for the second straight day.
  1. Vikings safety Harrison Smith was seen by reporters on crutches and wearing a walking boot on his left foot after the team's loss to the Cowboys on Thursday. Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who was assuming head coaching duties in Mike Zimmer's absence, didn't talk about the injury after the game.

Vikings quarterbackSam Bradford briefly left against the Cowboys after taking a shot to the ribs, but said after the game he got the wind knocked out of him and that he felt "pretty good."

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