The Buffalo Bills' backfield took a major hit Friday night as running backs Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch were hurt early in the 42-17 preseason-opening loss to Washington.
Jackson is believed to have a broken left hand, while Lynch hobbled off with an injured ankle.
Jackson's injury is the most serious as head coach Chan Gailey said Jackson will miss the rest of the preseason and may not be ready for the start of the regular season. Jackson was on the sideline wearing a soft cast on his hand.
"We hope to be able to get him back for the first game," Gailey said, "[but] not sure."
Gailey does not know the extent of Lynch's injury, but he also may be out a while.
Jackson and Lynch went down on the Bills' first offensive possession. Jackson was hurt on the second play from scrimmage when he was brought down by the face mask after a 7-yard run. Their absence prevented Gailey from utilizing some of the plays he installed for the game.
"When we lost those two guys we lost an awful lot of stuff we were trying to do in this ball game," he said. "Those of you who watch practice saw a lot of the two tailback stuff and we were trying to use that quite a bit tonight. That kind of went out the gate when those two guys went down."
They are the team's most experienced backs. Jackson led the team in rushing last season after Lynch was tops in yards the previous two years. Now C.J. Spiller, fellow rookie Joique Bell and Chad Simpson are the only healthy ball carriers.
"It hurts," Gailey said. "Thank goodness it's preseason."
C.J. Spiller's stock just rose with this news. Jackson's stock drops. Lynch, if he recovers quickly, might have more value on draft day than he previously had. But we won't know more about Lynch's injury until later.