ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- As the Buffalo Bills wrapped up their first week of organized team activities Thursday, the team was without possibly its top two receivers this upcoming season: Sammy Watkins and rookie Zay Jones.
Jones, the No. 37 pick in last month's draft, injured his knee in Tuesday's practice and is considered week-to-week. Watkins remains sidelined by January foot surgery, a follow-up procedure after Watkins missed eight games last season with lingering soreness from a broken foot last offseason.
Watkins was not dressed for Thursday's practice, but worked with the strength and conditioning staff. At one point, Watkins held a script of play calls and motioned with hands where he would run as he watched his teammates on the field.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor believes Watkins has a sharpened focus as he enters his fourth NFL season.
"The maturation process has definitely sped up for him," Taylor said Thursday. "He's older in the league. He knows what it takes, he knows where he wants to get. He's working [hard] even down to eating right and putting the right things in his body. You can tell his attention to detail each day has definitely been different in years past that I've been around him.
"He's always been a hard worker, but you can definitely tell that he's out there in the right mindset and with a positive attitude, trying to help the guys that are around him, as well as questioning the quarterbacks, trying to pick our brains."
The Bills declined to exercise Watkins' fifth-year option for 2018, which means he will become an unrestricted free agent next March if the Bills do not reach an extension with him or assign him the franchise or transition tags.