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Gabe Davis, Sammy Watkins formed friendship as offseason training partners – Buffalo News

Sammy Watkins spent the first three years of his career with the Bills before being traded in 2017.
Sammy Watkins will see some old friends – and one new one – when the Green Bay Packers visit Highmark Stadium on Sunday.
Watkins, the Bills’ former first-round draft pick, is in his first season with Green Bay. He’s bounced around some after leaving the Bills via a trade to the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, winning a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs and also spending last year with the Baltimore Ravens before arriving in Green Bay. This past offseason, Watkins trained in Orlando, Fla., with a group that included Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis.

“Sammy’s a good guy,” Davis said. He’s a “big, strong, physical receiver. He’s going to make the play, going to make the catch. To come back to Buffalo, hopefully he plays well.”
Watkins was a member of the Chiefs in 2020 when Kansas City visited the Bills, but he missed that game because of an injury. There also weren’t any fans in the stands that year because of Covid-19. Thus, Sunday’s game will be the first time he plays in front of Bills fans since he was traded. Watkins told reporters in Green Bay during the week that he’s looking forward to the homecoming.
“It’s definitely going to be weird,” Watkins told The Athletic. “I just can’t wait to get there, get those old feelings back when I was just a young Sammy and try to go out there and fight for a win. … I had some of my best times there. If people don’t know, that was my childhood team and still is my team. To play for an organization I loved growing up was definitely a blessing. I had some of the best memories. My first child was (born) there. It’s going to be a lot of great memories when I get there.”
The Bills traded up in the first round to draft Watkins No. 4 overall in 2014, bypassing Khalil Mack in the process. Watkins’ only 1,000-yard season in the NFL came in his second season with the Bills, when he caught 60 passes for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. Injuries, however, severely limited his production with the Bills, and he was traded to the Rams in what was the first major move by Bills General Manager Brandon Beane.

The Bills have been presented with the Full Von Experience since he signed with the team as a free agent in March. A magnet for autographs during training camp. A disrupter on the field with six sacks during the team’s 5-1 start. And an instant photo opportunity when he walks onto the field for early warmups.
“He was young when he played here,” Davis said. “He’s obviously become wiser and has some years now. It’ll be a little different this time when he steps into the stadium.”
Watkins and Davis trained together under the direction of Bert Whigham, with whom Davis has worked since high school.
“It was a good fit for both guys. It was natural,” Whigham said. “You’ve got a veteran, fourth overall pick who has kind of seen it all, been through a lot, and then the young up and comer. It was fun to work with them and see the way they progressed through the offseason.”
Whigham said both David and Watkins pushed each other over the summer.
“Sammy’s a real explosive guy,” Davis said. “Definitely watching him train and being able to lift like he does definitely motivated me to get to that level. He’s a great guy to train with, great guy to be around. He brings the energy and is always going to be smiling.”
Because of injuries to receivers on the depth chart ahead of him, Watkins figures to be Green Bay’s No. 1 receiver on Sunday. He returned last week against Washington after a stint on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury. He had two catches for 36 yards in playing 28 offensive snaps. For the season, he’s played in three games, making eight catches for 147 yards.
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News Sports Reporter
I started at The Buffalo News in 2009, and have previously been honored as one of the top 10 beat writers in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors for my coverage of the Bills. I live in Amherst with my wife, Melissa, and son, Elliott.
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The Buffalo Bills take on the Green Bay Packers at 8:20 p.m. Sunday at Highmark Stadium. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the game.

Kumerow was removed from the injury report Friday, meaning he’s cleared to play on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers – his former team.
Sammy Watkins spent the first three years of his career with the Bills before being traded in 2017.
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