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Bills place Sammy Watkins on IR, claim WR Justin Hunter

Buffalo is shelving their star receiver for at least two months.

Welp, things escalated quickly with Sammy Watkins.

Just a day ago, the talk centered on the Buffalo Bills wide receiver simply dealing with a pain tolerance issue regarding is nagging foot injury.

A few hours ago, Rex Ryan ruled out the third-year pass-catcher for the team’s Week 4 game against the Patriots, and said he had a “major concern” about injury long term.

Now, Watkins has officially been placed on the Injured Reserve list.

In the past, this would have ended his season, but with the new IR rule in place, Watkins could return later this year. The earliest he can return is in eight weeks.

That seems somewhat likely despite the IR designation, given this:

At this point with Watkins, this was probably the most prudent move for his health and future with the Bills, given that he’s only 23 years old and is almost assuredly set to be in Buffalo, at the very least, through the 2018 campaign.

(The Bills can pick up Watkins’ fifth-year option next season.)

In conjunction with this move, Buffalo claimed recently waived wideout Justin Hunter, who flamed out in Tennessee after being a second-round pick in 2013 and not sticking in Miami with the Dolphins.

The 6’4”, 200-pound Hunter visited the Bills during the pre-draft process four years ago — the first draft in which Whaley had control of the draft board -- after a 73-reception, 1,083-yard, nine-touchdown final season at the University of Tennessee.

The Titans made him the 34th overall pick in the 2013 draft.

He hardly lived up to expectations in Nashville, snagging just 68 passes for 1,116 yards and eight touchdowns in three total seasons there.

Tennessee released him on September 2, and Miami claimed him on September 4 before letting him go on September 28.

Hunter grew up in the Virginia Beach area.