All we've heard to this point is that the Bills were of the belief that Watkins would be ready by the start of the regular season, without any mention of training camp or the preseason. While the wide receiver admitted that he's hopeful to get back by training camp -- and by saying that, he's admitting there's at least a chance of that happening -- he knows he's in for a summer where he can't push the issue.
"This is an injury where you have to be really careful," Watkins said Wednesday. "The only thing that I can do is listen to the staff and take it slow, and just, really protect myself, and they’re going to protect me also. We’re just going to take the course with the injury. Nobody knows what timetable, what or when I’ll be back."
Bills head coach Rex Ryan met with the media after Watkins updated his injury, and was asked about the possibility a return in the summer in the lead up to the regular season.
"I think all I know is that Sammy won’t miss time in the regular season," Ryan said in a familiar refrain. "But when he comes back during training camp? Nobody has given us a specific time, it’s just that we’re extremely confident that he’ll be ready to roll when the season starts."
The Bills keep saying that he'll be ready by Week 1, but there's enough smoke here to be worried. However, with the way he finished the season -- 5.4-100-0.78 over the final nine games -- he has WR1 potential in 2016 provided he can stay healthy.