The Bills have officially activated wideout Sammy Watkins back to the 53-man roster, and also brought back an old friend in kicker Jordan Gay.
Bills activate Sammy Watkins. Sign K Jordan Gay. Also place S Robert Blanton on the Reserve/Injured list and released TE Gerald Christian— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) November 26, 2016
In the likely event that he’ll be active against the Jaguars tomorrow, Watkins will see the field for the first time since the Bills’ Week 2 loss to the Jets. The foot injury that’s been lingering since the offseason is probably still there to some degree, but not to the point that Watkins can’t at least start to shake off some rust and get re-acclimated to the offense while hopefully boosting a league-worst passing offense that has generally struggled a great deal in his absence.
The return of Gay to the roster is fairly interesting. He was given a nominal chance during the offseason to wrestle the kicking job away from Dan Carpenter, but failed to do so. He spent a couple games with the team, but was released earlier in the season. Carpenter has a solid grasp on the kicking job, especially after winning the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award with a solid performance in Cincinnati on Sunday, but he hasn’t been very good on kickoffs for the most part. Gay should be able to help the team improve on kick coverage, which has been something of a weak point over the last couple weeks.
Robert Blanton’s first season in Buffalo comes to an end after a foot injury he suffered on the Bengals’ final drive in the last game. He earned heavy playing time after Aaron Williams was knocked out for the season by Jarvis Landry’s cheap shot, but struggled against both the Patriots and Seahawks, especially the latter opponent. The newly-signed James Ihedigbo siphoned off a lot of his playing time against Cincinnati, and could jump into the starting role beginning with tomorrow’s Jaguars game. The other recent safety signing, Sergio Brown, could see some playing time with the defense after being relegated to special teams work against the Bengals.
Christian had been on the main roster for five games, but served as a healthy scratch for three of them. He saw seven total snaps in the Bills offense this season. Adding someone who can help the team a great deal on kickoffs is worth a trade-off for someone who was barely contributing as a fringe roster player.