The Bills saw one of their key offensive starters depart their exhibition finale with an injury.
It’s unclear whether Watkins has aggravated his bruised ribs — a preexisting injury he’s dealt with this summer — or suffered a new injury. He left the game not long after being hit in the upper body by Lions linebacker Ashlee Palmer on an incomplete pass in the first quarter.
The Bills played some first-teamers on offense, including quarterback EJ Manuel, in this, their fifth preseason game of the summer. The upside of such an approach is perhaps tied to the offense’s future performance, though it is not easily quantified. The downside to the approach, though, is clear, and the Bills have to hope Watkins was merely shaken up in this meaningless game 10 days before the regular season opener at Chicago.