The Buffalo Bills found a lot to be happy about this weekend. They came back strong against Kansas City after a devastating Week 1 loss, and now there appears to be positive news surrounding the injury of running back Fred Jackson.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the prognosis on Jackson's knee injury is about as good as it can be so far.
Fred Jackson a lil ahead of schedule in his rehab. Was able to start work last week, could end up being 3-4 week injury, which was bestcase— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 17, 2012
UPDATE: Monday, September 24 at 12:47 p.m. EST by Brandon Galvin
Jason La Canfora supports Chris Brown's report from yesterday that Fred Jackson should play this Sunday vs. New England.
RB CJ Spiller has sprained A/C joint, not separated shoulder. Great news for Bills Likely 1-2 week injury, Fred Jackson should play Sun— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 24, 2012
Buffalo Bills beat writer Chris Brown confirms that Jackson is expected to practice this week:
"The Bills are not expected to have C.J. Spiller this Sunday, but Fred Jackson has recovered quickly from his knee injury to the point that he’ll practice at some point this week...
'Fred will practice this week,' said Gailey. 'I don’t know if it’ll be Wednesday or Thursday, but he should practice some time this week. His recovery has been amazing.'”
---END OF UPDATE---
UPDATE: Sunday, September 23, 7:59 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
While the worst case scenario for Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson was missing almost two months of action with a knee injury, the veteran is aiming for a possible return to the lineup in Week 4 against the New England Patriots.
Jackson told BuffaloBills.com about his goals for returning to the team:
New England is the goal, but I’ve got to get cleared by a bunch of people to do that. We’ve all been targeting four weeks from when I was injured, but hopefully it’s not that long. Hopefully I can get out there ASAP.
If Jackson says he will try to be back for New England, I expect him to be close to playing even if the team plays it safe and decides to sit him anyway.
---End of Update---
Of course, the Bills are currently enjoying a renaissance at the running back position with C.J. Spiller. He came in after Jackson went down with his injury in Week 1 and has run for 292 yards with three touchdowns on just 29 carries.
As you might recall, Spiller was a highly regarded running back out of college whom the Bills took with the ninth pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He has never really been given a fair chance to show what he can do with this offense.
Spiller had 107 carries last year, the most he's ever had in a season. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry in 2011 and scored four rushing touchdowns, while also contributing 39 receptions and two touchdowns in the passing game.
Fantasy owners who have Jackson might not want to hear that he could be splitting carries when he does come back, though it is hard to imagine the Bills just sitting Spiller down the second Jackson gets back.
Jackson is the incumbent starter, despite being six years older than Spiller. Of course, given the nature of the two-back system in the NFL, it doesn't make much sense for the team to just hand a majority of carries to Jackson.
Spiller has earned the right to remain a focal point of the offense, and he will have at least one more week to keep impressing the coaching staff until Jackson comes back.