Fred Jackson was entering the 2012 season fully recovered from a broken fibula in his left leg that ended his 2011 campaign. In 2011, Jackson was on pace for a Pro Bowl invite, or even a nod for the MVP award. At the time of his injury he had rushed for 934 yards, good for third in the league at the time, and six touchdowns, while adding another 39 receptions for 442 yards.
In Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets, Jackson was again injured. The injury is listed as a sprained LCL, which isn’t as serious as an ACL or MCL, but still requires some time to heal. Jackson believes he could be back in three weeks, but head coach Chan Gailey thinks differently.
“It’s going to be a few weeks. It’s not going to be three, but I don’t think it’s going to be eight, but it’s probably somewhere in there in between. Hopefully sooner than later.”
With Jackson out for the foreseeable future, third-year running back, C.J. Spiller will take over, just like he did last season. The former Clemson speedster rushed for561 yards on 107 carries, averaging a solid 5.2 yards per carry, while scoring four touchdowns. Furthermore, he had 39 catches for 269 yards and two scores in his time filling in for Jackson.
On Sunday he made a statement, rushing for 169 yards on 14 carries, including a 56-yard touchdown run for the Bills’ first score of the game. Spiller is known for his blazing speed, running a 4.28 at the 2010 NFL Combine. Weighing 20 pounds less than Jackson, he doesn’t pound the ball or fight for the extra yards like his teammate, but he is a solid runner that is learning patience and hitting holes rather than instantly rushing to the outside.
While Spiller is nowhere near the status of Fred Jackson, don’t be surprised if he plays very well behind the Bills’ solid offensive line.