While fellow running back Fred Jackson believes his MCL knee injury is something he’ll just have to deal with and manage the rest of the season, C.J. Spiller is confident his ailing ankle will be back to 100 percent soon.
"I can tell that it's definitely healing," said Spiller. "I haven't had any setback, so I'm just going to continue to do what I do and get treatment and take it day by day. It's responding well."
"I definitely wasn't 100 percent,” he said. “It's all about having that confidence to cut off it and that's the biggest hurdle I face each week going into the game. It definitely felt better than last week, but I still feel like I'm not exploding like I normally do."
With Buffalo’s bye week not until Week 12, it will be over a month before Spiller can rest the ankle for any measurable period of time. The Bills feature back however, is confident the ankle will be healthy before then.
"I think it'll be something that'll be healed up before the bye week," said Spiller. "I don't think it's going to be something that's going to linger into November. It's getting better and better each week and as long as it continues to do that I'll be fine. There are a couple of more hurdles that I have to get over, but I can definitely see the finish line of me getting back to 100 percent quickly."
It's not just the ankle. The new Bills regime hasn't used Spiller in the same (effective) ways that Chan Gailey did. Through six weeks, he's averaging just 2.3 targets per game, down from 3.6 T/G in 2012.
Friday, October 11, 2013, 7:18pm
Bills RB C.J. Spiller (ankle, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 6. As of Wednesday, Spiller reportedly still had a "bit of a limp," but it's a good sign that he was able to practice all week. HC Doug Marrone said that he's "progressing much better this week." Both Spiller and Fred Jackson should be decent starts despite a so-so matchup against the Bengals. The Bills are likely to be very run-heavy with Thaddeus Lewis under center.
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.
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.
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.