Today’s trade that sent CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 NFL Draft second-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for a next year’s sixth-round pick and ultra-talented WR Sammy Watkins fills a much needed hole in the Rams’ depth chart. They finally have a star receiver for QB Jared Goff to overthrow balls to. And who knows, maybe his speed will allow him to catch up with them.
However with every noteworthy trade, there’s always a risk. And with Watkins, it’s his right foot...and that’s not his only injury.
To fully understand what we’re getting with our new WR, let’s take a look at his injury history:
Shoulder A/C Joint Sprain
Nov 12, 2011 - College. Missed one game
This turned out to not be a serious aliment for Watkins, so I’m not going to worry about it right now.
Ankle Sprain — Grade 1
December 31, 2012 - College. Knocked out of the Chick-fil-A Bowl
Ok, this is the beginning of the problems with his ankles. It was on the second play of the game and he was carted off the field and kept out for the entire game.
August 16-28, 2014 - Missed 2 and a half preseason games
This was an issue for Watkins to start his rookie season, as he was probable to start in week one, and he did. Not a big deal. Moving on.
November 30, 2014 - Offseason surgery
Watkins played all 16 games of his rookie season, but he did hit a wall in the last 3 games of his season, only catching 7 passes with one touchdown. He had surgery to repair a tear in his labrum in his hip that did not cause him to miss any playing time and from all accounts, has healed correctly.
Thigh Glute Strain
August 17, 2015 - Missed 3 preseason games
His sore glute caused the Bills to play it safe, sitting him out for most of the preseason.
September 27, 2015 - Missed 2 games
What seemed like a mild concern for Watkins, the team was concerned enough about the injury to keep him out for two games.
Ankle Sprain — Grade 1
October 18, 2015 - injured during TD reception, missed the next 2 games
This was a pretty serious ankle sprain injury, putting him on crutches with a walking boot. However, this was to his right ankle, not the left ankle he hurt in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. But man, it’s not setting a great precedent.
May 1, 2016 - needed preseason surgery with a screw inserted, missing 8 games
This is the big one that will keep diehard Rams fans up at night. This injury started out as an off-season issue that pretty much decimated his season, causing Watkins to get a second surgery on January 1st, 2017.
This past offseason showed that Watkins was easing back into good health and looks good to go for the 2017 season. However, the Bills weren’t confident enough with his injury issues to offer him a fifth-year option and this most likely played a major factor in his trade to the Rams.
So, what does this all mean? Well, he’s prone to getting hurt, for sure. Rams fans will just have to hope that his foot surgeries are a thing of the past and he’s ready to fulfill his awesome potential.