CJ Spiller Injury: Updates on Bills Star's Week 4 Status and Fantasy Value

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IISeptember 24, 2012

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: C.J. Spiller #28 of the Buffalo Bills runs against the Kansas City Chiefs at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 35-17. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller injured his shoulder in the team’s game against the Cleveland Browns after his fantastic start to the 2012 NFL season.

UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 30 at 11:30 a.m. ET by Adam Wells

After an earlier report about the possibilties of having Spiller and Fred Jackson, the team has officially listed (via Twitter) both players as active for Sunday's game against New England.

#Bills RBs Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are active today

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 30, 2012

This is a huge boon to the Bills, who weren't entirely sure they would have either running back available in this game. To have both Jackson and Spiller out there is going to mean so much just from a mental standpoint. 

There is a lot more to the game than just what happens in the mind, but right now, the Bills have to be feeling very good about where they are at heading into this AFC East showdown. 



UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10:20 a.m. ET by Adam Wells

There is good news and uncertain news surrounding the Bills running backs heading into Week 4 against New England. 

According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, while Fred Jackson will be available, C.J. Spiller is going to be a game-time decision. 

An NFL source informs me Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson will play this afternoon against the New England Patriots, while a final decision on backfield mate C.J. Spiller -- also expected to play -- won't be made until after warmups.

Given the state of the Bills' defense right now, they need all the help on offense they can get. Having both Jackson and Spiller in the lineup will make things much easier for Ryan Fitzpatrick and open up a lot of possibilities on offense. 



UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 28 at 12:35 p.m. ET by Justin Welton

As expected, Bills' head coach Chan Gailey says that C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson have a chance of playing Sunday against New England, according to the Buffalo Bills Twitter feed.

Gailey: Jackson and Spiller are questionable. "Both have a chance"

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 28, 2012

Both Jackson and Spiller may be listed as questionable, but fantasy owners must be cautious about putting them in their starting lineups. Both will split carries if they both suit up, and you don't really know about their health until game day.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 28 at 11:21 a.m. ET by Justin Welton

According to WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia, Bills' running back C.J. Spiller practiced for the second straight day.

C.J. Spiller is practicing for the second straight day. Fred Jackson is also participating. #Bills

— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) September 28, 2012

Buffalo's run game is bruised and battered, but this is good news for the Bills. Sunday's game against the Patriots won't be easy seeing how New England has lost two straight games, but going in with their top running backs will only help the cause.

Both Spiller and Jackson will split carries if they are both healthy enough to play, and the Patriots are No. 7 against the rush so their fantasy value this week isn't that great. 

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 28 at 8:23 a.m. ET by Justin Welton

Bills' General Manager Buddy Nix isn't sure if Spiller will be in action for Sunday's game at New England, but he's not ruling him out, according to the Buffalo Bills' Twitter feed.

Nix: Spiller still not ruled out. "I wouldn't be surprised either way"

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 28, 2012

Spiller's big play ability has really came out in the early goings of the 2012 season, and his potential loss is going to really put the burden on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Tashard Choice would be the main man on Sunday if Spiller wasn't able to go, but fantasy owners must know that New England's rush defense has been stellar this year, allowing 81 yards per game which is seventh in the league.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 2:30 p.m. ET by Rob Goldberg

According to Chris Brown of Inside the Bills Blog, C.J. Spiller is a long shot to play on Sunday against the New England Patriots. The running back told reporters:

I’m just taking it day by day. We’ll see how it goes. The main thing we don’t want to do is rush it. It’s Week 4 and we’ve got 16-plus if we get to the postseason so we’ll do day by day and see what Sunday holds.

This seems to indicate that he will not suit up if he is less than completely healthy. Spiller showed in the last two games how valuable he is to the offense, so it is unnecessary to risk losing him for the year instead of one game. 

Fantasy owners should acquire Tashard Choice in case Spiller or teammate Fred Jackson are unable to play on Sunday.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 12:43 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

Still yet to be ruled out for Sunday's contest against the New England Patriots, Bills running back C.J. Spiller was "cryptic" about whether he would be in practice on Thursday, according to The Buffalo News' Tim Graham.

Bills running back C.J. Spiller was cryptic about whether he would practice today, saying it was up to the medical staff but indicating with a grin he wanted to give his injured shoulder a test.


With a critical AFC East matchup in store on Sunday, Buffalo would like nothing more than to have its breakout star in the lineup. Nevertheless, Spiller won't know how his shoulder feels until he evaluates it against true contact.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 2:47 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

Though it is unclear whether C.J. Spiller will be suiting up on Sunday with his shoulder injury, the Buffalo Bills' breakout running back could return to practice this week in hopes of playing Sunday, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Spiller is healing faster than expected from a sprained shoulder.  He could return to practice this week.

It’s unclear whether that means he’d play on Sunday against the Patriots.  But no one expected Jackson to play again in September, and right now he’s on track to return.

Considering that Fred Jackson may also return earlier than expected from a knee injury, the news is all good for the Bills heading into a heated inter-division battle against the Patriots on Sunday.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8:57 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

CJ Spiller (shoulder) has yet to rule himself out of Week 4 and said whether or not he plays will depend on his pain threshold, according to WNY Papers' jmaloni

The rising star said the shoulder injury he sustained in the first quarter of the Cleveland Browns game will not keep him out long, and it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could suit up Sunday.

"It is all a matter of how much pain I may be able to take," Spiller said.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 24, at 4:15 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

The Bills remain optimistic about C.J. Spiller's shoulder injury. 

The team reported via its Twitter that the running back is not officially ruled out for this coming week, although it remains likely that he will miss this weekend's game against the New England Patriots. 

Chan Gailey: CJ Spiller not as bad as originally thought. Not ruled out for this week, but unlikely.

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 24, 2012

It is still early in the week, and this report suggests that the news regard Spiller's availability for this week could  continue to change as he continues to recover from a sprained A/C joint. 

---End of Update---

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported via Twitter that the Bills running back’s injury was not serious and would not cause him to miss significant time:

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


Spiller left during the first quarter of Sunday’s game and appeared to be in a considerable amount of pain after Browns defensive back Osama Young tackled him. When he was taken to the sidelines, he'd gained 16 yards on four carries in the game and had caught two passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Coming into Week 3, Spiller was leading the league in rushing yardage after racking up 292 yards on the ground in his first two games.

Spiller is entering his third season in the NFL after being drafted with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 draft. To start the year, he was second on the depth chart behind Fred Jackson, who went down with a knee injury in the team’s first game.

As La Canfora notes, Jackson is likely to make his return this weekend, and Spiller will have competition for carries when he comes back.

However, the Bills will ensure that the future of their backfield remains a significant part of the offense when he returns. The team will not relegate him to a peripheral role in favor of the 31-year-old Jackson.

Spiller’s fantasy value should not be significantly downgraded due to his injury or Jackson’s return. Few running backs make it through the entire season without missing a game or two—and this will be the extent of Spiller’s absence due to his latest ding.

Jackson and Spiller will both be featured in the Bills offense, and given the success the team has had in opening up space for Spiller, he should still be considered a top-tier fantasy running back.

Check back to this page for updates on his injury and fantasy value going forward. 


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