He’d admitted partying “every night,” drinking and smoking, and how that led to most of his issues and injuries.
“I would go out and get wasted,” he told Dunne. “Wasted wasted.”
Then he’d go to practice early in the morning.
He knows what everyone saw: a ceramic-boned bust. From broken ribs to a hip tear to a glute, a hamstring, a calf and, of course, the foot, Watkins could’ve been suplexed into 100 tables over his first three years in the NFL and come away healthier than this. The Bills had mortgaged their future not for Khalil Mack or Aaron Donald or Odell Beckham Jr. back in 2014 but rather for another reason for Buffalonians to curse the sports gods.
But here’s what you did not see: a 21-year-old drinking every night. That’s no exaggeration. Watkins partied “every night”—yes, “every night,” he repeats—turning downtown Buffalo’s Chippewa Street into his own personal frat party. Beer, liquor…Watkins didn’t discriminate in lighting his $12.8 million signing bonus on fire with friends who followed him north. “Living fast,” he calls it, holding up a pretend blunt. Yeah, he smoked plenty too.
He treated his body terribly.
“I would go out and get wasted,” he says. “Wasted wasted.”
Watkins told writer Tyler Dunne he had a routine of “drinking alone until 4 a.m., sleeping two hours and then waking up at 6 a.m. to start again.
There’s no way to recover from that, no matter how young you are.
Watkins is lucky he made it out of Buffalo alive.
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