Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 6:55pm
Bills RB C.J. Spiller (ankle) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Spiller reportedly still has a "bit of a limp," but it's a good sign that he's at practice. Fred Jackson may be a better start yet again; Jackson is currently the #7 RB in standard formats.
It doesn't say a whole lot for Jeff Tuel, who stepped in for E.J. Manuel on Thursday night and didn't look very good. Lewis came over in a trade with Detroit in the offseason, and has decent running ability, but will have a tough matchup against the Bengals in Week 6. Look for WRs Steve Johnson and Robert Woods to take a hit in our rankings this week. The Bills will likely give RBs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson plenty of work, and both looked good against Cleveland after coming in a bit banged up.
C.J. Spiller is active, but is not a great play given his ankle injury and his recent production. We actually prefer Fred Jackson if given the option. Spiller is a decent RB2/flex option, however.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 7:25pm
Bills RB C.J. Spiller (ankle, questionable) did not practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable. Spiller will be a game-time decision for Thursday night. We're not terribly optimistic about Spiller finishing the game even if he does play. Fred Jackson may be the better start this week.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 7:25pm
Bills RB Fred Jackson (knee, probable) took limited practice reps Wednesday and is listed as probable. It looks like Jackson is more likely to play than C.J. Spiller. If Spiller is out, Jackson will be a fringe RB1 against the Browns. Tashard Choice would back him up in that scenario. Jackson should even be productive if Spiller plays, as he's been the better player thus far in 2013.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 6:20pm
Bill head coach Doug Marrone implying RB Fred Jackson will be ready for the game saying he feels "very comfortable with Fred" in terms of Thursday's status.
C.J. Spiller did not practice today, despite earlier reports saying he did. Tashard Choice could get an increased workload especially if one of Spiller or Jackson don't play. It's still a pretty murky situation against a pretty decent Browns defense and a lot needs to be figured out.
Bill running back Fred Jackson said he sprained his MCL in Sunday's win but expects to play Thursday night.
"It's not as significant [as last season]. It's something that we can manage, and I expect to play," Jackson said.
Jackson, who rushed for 87 yards on 16 carries Sunday, left late in the third quarter, jogging to the locker room. He returned early in the fourth quarter, rushing five times for 19 more yards.
Spiller's (ankle) status is in doubt with a short week but reports say he's going to play. But, Jackson would likely cut into the workload in what's a pretty tough matchup against the Browns Thursday night. Tashard Choice is expected to get an increased workload as well causing what looks to be a murky situation right now. Jackson will likely wear a brace, according to Tuesday reports.
Spiller left in the third quarter Sunday after rushing 21 times for 65 yards. He returned to the game, rushing twice more for 12 yards, but was limping in the locker room following the game.
"I'm going to do as much treatment as I can to get ready for Thursday, but it's a short week, so it's going to be tough," Spiller said. "If I can go out there at least 85 or 90 percent, I'm going to play."
It's been a slow start for Spiller and owners who spent a mid-first rounder on him are likely suffering, too. To make matters worse, if you handcuffed Spiller with Fred Jackson, he was also banged up (MCL sprain). Tashard Choice could be next up to play on what is a short week for the Bills - they play Thursday night in a tough matchup at Cleveland. Spiller said if he can get his ankle to 85-percent, he would play Thursday night.
Adam Schefter is reporting Spiller hurt his thigh, not his knee. Bills head coach Doug Marrone added Monday that he expects Spiller to be fine Week 4. Spiller suffered the injury in Sunday's game against the Jets and had rushed just nine times for 9 yards in the first half. He rushed for no gain with 14:39 remaining in the third quarter, his last touch. Spiller was seen limping off the to locker room, but either way, it appears it's not a major injury. It's been a tough go for Spiller and his owners so far this season. Fred Jackson makes for a great handcuff and would get the bulk of work if Spiller would miss time. Jackson ran for 72 yards on just seven carries against the Jets and should be owned if he's still on your wire.
Make whichever argument you'd like in favor of Kevin Kolb. "It was only his first game!" "He was going up against the first team of a good defense!" "He's just coming off an injury!" It really doesn't matter, because in the opinion of many (including your author) the competition to be the Week One starter for the Bills is now a dead issue. Kolb was indecisive, didn't take many chances down the field and missed many of his intermediate targets. His stats, 13-of-21 for 111 yards and an interception make it sound a little better than his day was, but Kolb did himself no favors. Couple that with E.J. Manuel's drive to begin the second half where he went 6-of-6 including a touchdown toss to Brad Smith, and the conclusion for many is consistent: the rookie needs to be named the starter this year. He's the best man for the job and has outperformed Kolb throughout training camp and now in an individual preseason game.
Manuel has some potential in fantasy circles, but the Bills figure to be run-heavy behind C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. If Manuel shows he's capable, they will open up the passing game as the season wears on.
Monday, August 12, 2013, 9:44pm
A healthy Fred Jackson -- and he looks refreshed and rejuvenated here -- will give Buffalo the best backfield in the league. With a rookie quarterback and few proven pass catchers, there will be plenty of carries for both he and C.J. Spiller. That would be a very good problem for this team to have.
"We're actually still trying to find that role," HC Doug Marrone said. "I don't think that role's been defined for us yet. We're going to take a real good look at it."
Keep in mind it's early, and keep in mind we had a news story not all that long where Marrone said he'd use Spiller in every situation. But in this drill, Tashard Choice was getting goal line work. Marrone told the author he would use a specialty back for goal line carries if he feels his main back "doesn't have maybe the girth to go over the top" and that he likes to use a fresh back in goal line situations. The story added the Bills had only five rushing TDs under 10 yards last year. Spiller did have one of them; Jackson had two. No reason to give up on Spiller because of this, but something to keep in mind.
Sunday, July 28, 2013, 8:01am
In its ideal form Buffalo’s offense is expected to afford the playmakers in their offense significantly more opportunities to make plays and gain yardage. RB CJ Spiller could arguably touch the ball 30 times a game if the offense is operating efficiently. In that same game Fred Jackson could conceivably touch it 20-25 times and Stevie Johnson could make 10-15 catches.
Keep in mind this is coming from the Bills Web site, and to have the offense run efficiently means they have to remain competitive. But it's an indication of the potential of Spiller coming into the season. As we pointed out here on the site, Spiller had the highest FP/touch of any RB with 150 or more touches. We rank him 5th among our RBs and he's going around the middle of the first round in drafts.
"My philosophy's always been if someone starts off and they're running well, keep feeding them the ball," Marrone said.
Asked if he has any reservations about using Spiller in certain spots, Marrone shook his head.
"I've really seen him as well as Fred work on the things that make them both complete backs," Marrone said. "Our goal, when we put a back back there, is to make sure they're complete backs."
Spiller is one of the most explosive backs in the league, but saw inconsistent touches when both he and Fred Jackson were healthy in years past. It sounds as if Marrone plans to feed Spiller the ball early and often.
“The options become limitless,” said Bills new RB Tyrone Wheatley with his two versatile backs, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. “The more you can do the better for you. That’s my saying and these guys can do it all. They both have distinct skill sets, but they also present a different type of threat towards defenses.”
Wheatley sees Jackson as the thunder and Spiller as the lightning. And though a split backfield with both Jackson and Spiller on the field at the same time sounds like an easy solution to outside observers, that’s not what Buffalo’s run game will be.
“I would just say multiple,” said Wheatley when asked to describe the run game. “I know that’s kind of vague and it doesn’t really clear things up, but we’re a multiple set. We could do two-back, we could be one back. We could be single back, we could be shotgun. It’s a multiple set.”
This is a situation to watch closely this summer. Spiller proved he's ready for a RB1 workload, but as long as Jackson is around, his stock will be deflated.