Fred Jackson Injury: What Would the Implications Be Long-Term?

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer ISeptember 9, 2012

Just a wild guess, but this is probably the play that did Fred Jackson in for the day against the Jets.
Just a wild guess, but this is probably the play that did Fred Jackson in for the day against the Jets.Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

One injury can put a damper on an entire season. Such might be the case if there was any serious damage done with the leg injury sustained by Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson.

#Bills RB Fred Jackson is questionable to return with a leg injury.

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) Sept. 9, 2012

This report was updated shortly after the beginning of the second half:

Initial diagnosis for Fred Jackson is sprained LCL. Likely done for the day. Will get further tests this week.

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 9, 2012

Fred Jackson's injury was one of a few that spelled a downward spiral from a hot 5-2 start to a dismal 6-10 finish last year.

Jackson was on pace to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage last year before a broken fibula ruined his season. As we saw against the Jets on Sunday, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't the type of quarterback who can carry the load for the offense. In fact, the Bills only score of the first half came on a 56-yard touchdown run by running back C.J. Spiller.

Okay, so perhaps the injury to Jackson doesn't completely ruin the Bills' chances this year, if Spiller continues to play the way he did against a stout Jets defensive line (14 rushes, 169 yards, touchdown), but the Bills can't afford him turning the ball over, as he did in the first half. He had five fumbles on just 154 touches as a rookie, but only two on 165 touches in his second year.

Speaking of 2011, Spiller was the one who picked up the load for the Bills offense last year, rushing 86 times for 446 yards (5.19 yards per carry) and three touchdowns in the final six games of the year, adding 24 receptions for 187 yards and two more touchdowns. 

If Fitzpatrick's Week 1 performance is any indication, they'll need to get production out of the running game.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.