Bills RB Fred Jackson has been on the shelf for almost two weeks with a hamstring injury, but he was moving well in work on the side with the strength and conditioning staff Tuesday night. At this point however, he’s got to follow doctor’s orders.
“We’ve got to follow the protocol, but we want to get back out there,” said Jackson in reference to himself and Anthony Dixon. “Obviously we’re hurting, but the more numbers that we have that’s going to take a lot (of reps) off everybody’s plate. So we’ll try to get back out there as soon as we can.”
Jackson figures to back up LeSean McCoy, who is dealing with a hamstring injury of his own. Running backs coach Anthony Lynn said he’d like to cut Jackson’s snaps/workload in half, so barring a long-term injury to McCoy, don’t expect F-Jax to rack up 14-plus touches per game like he did in 2014. However, even if we slice his PPG in half (to 6.7 per game in PPR formats) and extrapolate over a full, 16-game season, we end up with RB4-type numbers. He has upside from there if anything happens to McCoy.
The Buffalo Bills have sustained several injuries to their deep group of players at running back, giving way to youth further down on the depth chart. Fred Jackson is sidelined with a hamstring injury while Anthony Dixon is also out with a calf ailment. Even LeSean McCoy has missed practice time.
In Jackson and Dixon's absence, Bryce Brown and rookie Karlos Williams have been asked to step up. For Brown, he's done just the opposite, fumbling three times in camp, one of which came during the team's scrimmage on Saturday. It was clear Rex Ryan took notice.
"The fumble was disappointing, to put it mildly," Ryan said via ESPN. "Because he was having a nice day, and then it was like ... every single team is going to be attacking that football. And you just can't have it. I don't care how many -- if you carry it 300 times, you have to hold on to that sucker. And that's what we're counting on as a team."
The quickest way to find yourself on the bench as a running back is to put the ball on the ground. Unsurprisingly, his fumbling issues have led Brown to tumble down the depth chart. In his place, the Bills will look to Williams to play a bigger role.
Brown has proved he's a talented back, but has had a fumbling issue dating back to his days with the Eagles. Williams is getting more work but likely still falls behind at least Jackson and McCoy when the games start. If injuries continue to be an issue, though, Williams could be a name to remember.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm
Bills RB Anthony Dixon (chest, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 16.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm
Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 16. Spiller should serve as Fred Jackson’s primary backup, but don’t expect a huge workload. Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon have combined for 12.0 touches in the last four games, so that would seem to be Spiller’s ceiling in his first game back from injury.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm
Bills RB Anthony Dixon (chest) took full practice reps again Thursday.
He was practicing with his teammates on Wednesday, much as he had for each of the past two weeks. The only difference now is he’s been medically cleared for contact. C.J. Spiller has not yet been added to the 53-man roster from his I-R Designated to return status, but it’s anticipated that will take place later in the week.
Bills head coach Doug Marrone liked the way Spiller performed in practice Wednesday.
“I’m not going to sit up here and see he didn’t look good. He looked good, but he’s still working his way back into the football part of it,” Marrone said.
The Bills are still alive in the playoff hunt, but they'll need some help to make the postseason. If Spiller does play, he probably won't have a big role in his first game back, though he could take over most of the touches that Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown have been getting in the last few weeks. They have combined for 12.0 touches in the last four weeks, so we would expect that would be Spiller's ceiling with Fred Jackson continue to carry the load as the team's primary back.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm
Bills RB Anthony Dixon (shoulder) practiced fully Wednesday.
Marrone did not commit to having Spiller, who has been on injured reserve with a designation to return, play in Sunday's game at the Oakland Raiders.
"I'd like to see more participation before we make that decision," he said.
Spiller returned to practice on Dec. 3 after missing six weeks with a broken collarbone. The Bills had until Dec. 24 to decide whether to place him on their 53-man roster. If Spiller plays, it would likely mean Bryce Brown loses playing time and the Bills ride with Spiller, Fred Jackson and Anthony Dixon.
Fred Jackson will play in Week 12. He was questionable all week with a groin injury so it's possible he's limited against the Jets, who rank sixth in allowing fantasy points to RBs. Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown will likely factor in the game plan, but with the workload in question and a tough matchup, no one is really considered a safe play in this situation.
(New York conducted a walk-through on Saturday)
T Oday Aboushi (shoulder), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), G Willie Colon (knee), WR T.J. Graham (neck), LB David Harris (shoulder), RB Chris Ivory (shoulder), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (calf), RB Chris Johnson (knee), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee), WR Greg Salas (wrist), QB Geno Smith (right shoulder), CB Darrin Walls (calf)
DE Jarius Wynn (knee)
CB Ron Brooks (groin), RB Fred Jackson (groin)
K Dan Carpenter (right groin), WR Marquise Goodwin (ankle), WR Chris Hogan (hip), DE Manny Lawson (ankle), QB Kyle Orton (toe), RB Frank Summers (neck), G Kraig Urbik (shoulder), WR Sammy Watkins (groin)
Bills RB Fred Jackson is questionable. He's indicated he's going to play, but with the game now Monday night he becomes a bit more risky. It's not a great matchup against the Jets rush defense, but either way owners will need to be prepared just in case Jackson doesn't go. Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown would at least be serviceable backups if needed. Also for the Bills, Watkins and Orton are probable.
Bills head coach Doug Marrone said last week that if their Week 11 game was on Sunday instead of Thursday night, he felt Fred Jackson would’ve been able to play in the game. on Thursday night however, he was scratched after tweaking his injured groin in practice Tuesday. Now Jackson fully anticipates being ready to go this coming Sunday against the Jets.
In his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Jackson said he’s planning on being ready by the end of the week.
“Yeah. We’ll work myself into the process of getting back out there,” said Jackson. “I know with our training staff and doctors they’ll take every precaution we need to, but like coach Marrone said, if the game was yesterday there’s probably a pretty good chance that I would’ve played. So I’m planning on playing this Sunday and it’s just on me to go out there and take this week slowly and get back out there.”
It sounds like the turnaround from Week 10 to a short Week 11 wasn't enough time for Jackson to play. But the extra time off should have him ready for Week 12. It's a bit of a tough matchup against the Jets and a pretty good run defense, but owners hope Jackson is able to carry more of a workload. Anthony Dixon will likely continue to get his share of snaps though.
Fred Jackson is inactive as expected. Multiple reports say that Bryce Brown is starting at RB for the Bills, which is encouraging news for those owners depending on him this week. In the last two weeks, Anthony Dixon has out-carried him 31 to 14, but the ratio was 9:7 in Week 10 and Brown caught six passes against the Chiefs, out-touching Dixon 13 to 9. Brown looked explosive and particularly good in the passing game, so he’s a low-end RB2 in standard and a solid RB2 in PPR formats.
With Goodwin out, Mike Williams returns to the active roster.
One wonders why the Bills let Fred Jackson play in Week 10 with a pair of capable running backs in Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown and a short week in Week 11. Regardless, it looks like Dixon and Brown will split the load against the Dolphins tonight. It's not a great matchup, but it's not a terrible matchup, either. We'll update our rankings shortly.
It's a mediocre matchup against a good Dolphins defense, but Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown would become Sneaky Starts if Jackson can't play tonight. If he does suit up, it's shaping up as a murky three-headed committee. For a look at how the Bills divvied up their touches in Week 10, be sure to check the RBBC Report.
Monday, November 10, 2014, 9:50am
Playing in his 100th career game, the gritty and well-respected Bills RB Fred Jackson ran just three times in the Bills' 17-13 loss to the Chiefs. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report after returning to practice Wednesday.
Was there ever a chance he wouldn't play?
"No," Jackson said. "I knew Monday. I was confident in everything I had done that I would be able to compete. Unfortunately it wasn't enough but I knew I had the ability to come out and play."
Jackson was more productive in the passing game (four catches for 39 yards) than in the running game, where the Bills leaned more on Anthony Dixon (nine carries) and Bryce Brown (seven carries). We knew Jackson would be limited coming into this game, but there's a good chance his touches increase next game now that he got his feet wet. Brown also had a critical fumble that ended up out of the end zone for a touchback.
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