Sammy Watkins was thrilled when the Buffalo Bills threw to him repeatedly in the opening minutes of their exhibition opener.
Only later did the Los Angeles Rams’ top new receiver realize what else might have been going on.
“I just thought I was catching it hot,” Watkins said with a grin Saturday. “I mean, they were targeting me pretty quick, and after the game, I was” thinking, “‘Oh, I probably was out there auditioning.’”
If his last game for Buffalo was indeed a tryout for potential employers, the Rams clearly thought he passed.
Los Angeles traded a second-round draft pick and cornerback E.J. Gaines to the Bills for a sixth-rounder and Watkins, who immediately becomes the top target for Jared Goff on the Rams’ long-struggling offense.
Watkins, the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft, traveled to California on Saturday, landing on a gorgeous 85-degree day to check out the Coliseum before the Rams’ preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
“Just being in L.A. can help me out,” Watkins said. “Nice city. Nice weather. And just to be in this city with the players, just trying to chase a goal and win a championship and go to the playoffs. It’s a blessing to be here, to be on real grass eight or nine games out of the year.”
Watkins’ occasionally injured legs will benefit from the Coliseum grass, and the Rams intend to benefit greatly from Watkins’ speed and skill. He is expected to provide the deep threat that was among many things lacking for Los Angeles last season, when the Rams had the NFL’s worst offense for the second straight year.
Watkins praised Rams receivers Robert Woods, who left Buffalo as a free agent to join Los Angeles earlier this year, and Tavon Austin.
“I’m just here to add to that, and I’m just coming here to have fun and win some games,” Watkins said.
BRONCOS’ WOLFE INJURED: The Denver Broncos appeared to have dodged a huge hit to their battered defensive line: Derek Wolfe’s right ankle injury apparently isn’t as serious as first thought.
The sixth-year defensive end was carted off the field after he got tangled up with right tackle Menelik Watson on the second snap of team drills.
Coach Vance Joseph said after practice it was a lower ankle injury.
“We’re not sure how bad. We’re kind of assuming it’s not that bad,” Joseph said. “At first look it wasn’t serious, but we’ll know more tomorrow.”
OFFICIALLY OUT: The Miami Dolphins placed quarterback Ryan Tannehill on injured reserve with a left knee injury, sidelining him for the season.
The move came Saturday, when Miami also signed linebacker Junior Sylvestre. He spent part of the 2017 offseason with Buffalo and the 2016 offseason and training camp with Indianapolis.
A person familiar with the decision said Tannehill will have surgery for a torn ligament.
Tannehill missed the final four games of last season with two sprained ligaments in his knee. He reinjured it a week into training camp Aug. 3.