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Saturday, October 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bills’ Sammy Watkins takes next step recovering from foot surgery

Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins has begun participating in individual drills at practice as he recovers from offseason surgery to repair a broken left foot. Rookie receiver Zay Jones also returns to practice since hurting knee while NFL suspends receiver Walt Powell for the first four games of next season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Bills decline to pick up 5th-year option on Sammy Watkins contract

The Buffalo Bills have declined to pick up the fifth-year option on receiver Sammy Watkins’ contract for the 2018 season. The decision was announced by coach Sean McDermott and leaves Watkins’ future in Buffalo uncertain after this season. Bills also claimed cornerback Charles James a day after he was waived by the Indianapolis Colts.

In a class by themselves

TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans resists labels that describe him as a football player, especially those that shortchange what he’s accomplished as part of an outstanding class of rookie receivers lighting up the NFL. The seventh overall pick in last spring’s draft has been much more than a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season for the Buccaneers (2-12), who have the NFC’s worst record and could wind up with the No. 1 draft pick in 2015.

Gronkowski set to play in opener

Star tight end Rob Gronkowski stood in front of his Gillette Stadium locker Monday and announced he will be playing in the New England Patriots’ opener at Miami this Sunday. Saying he is “super excited,” Gronkowski vowed to be on the field after he didn’t play in any of the four preseason games as he completed his recovery from right knee surgery in December.

Newsmakers

Staying Miami football coach Al Golden said Sunday he is not a candidate for any other job, ending days of silence and speculation about his future with the Hurricanes. Golden’s statement did not specifically mention Penn State, his alma mater, which reportedly targeted him as a top candidate to replace Bill O’Brien as coach. Recovering Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook already is off crutches and shooting free throws, but the All-Star point guard says he doesn’t know when he’ll be ready to return to the court for the Thunder. Westbrook, who had his third knee operation since April on Dec. 27, offered his first public comments Sunday. Westbrook says he wasn’t in any pain but his knee “just kept swelling and swelling.” After an MRI exam, surgery was decided on.