Fred Jackson Injury: Updates on Bills Star's Week 4 Status and Fantasy Value

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 24, 2012

UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 30 at 11:35 a.m. ET by Alex Kay

Fred Jackson is definitely back in action for the Buffalo Bills.

According to the team's official Twitter feed, Jackson and backup RB C.J. Spiller are both active for Sunday's contest against the New England Patriots.

#Bills RBs Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are active today

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 30, 2012

Considering the organization was prepared to go with Tashard Choice as the lead rusher in this game, it's a significant upgrade to have both of the top RBs back against a tough AFC East opponent.

Fantasy owners should feel free to start Jackson or Spiller, as they should both be viable against a spotty Patriots rush defense.


UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10:25 a.m. ET by Alex Kay

Fred Jackson is back in action for the Buffalo Bills.

According to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News, the starting RB is slated to be back on the field for the team’s Week 4 matchup against the New England Patriots.

Backup C.J. Spiller, who performed admirably in Jackson’s place before going down with a shoulder injury, is still a game-time decision.

This is a big boost to the Buffalo ground game, which was about to be left with Tashard Choice as the only serviceable body out of the backfield.

If you have Jackson in fantasy, it’s now safe to start him and hope he continues to put up his big numbers against a mediocre Pats defense. 


UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 28 at 12:33 p.m. ET by Mike Shiekman 

While Fred Jackson's status has been looking up, both him and CJ Spiller are currently in a wave of uncertainty.

The Buffalo Bills official Twitter account has gotten in on the reporting act, posting a telling quote from Chan Gailey concerning Jackson and Spiller:


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

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 28, 2012

Chan Gailey certainly doesn't put any fantasy owners at ease.


UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 28 at 11:20 a.m. ET by Pete Schauer

Fred Jackson may be back on the practice field, but he very well could have some competition in the backfield.

According to Buffalo Bills' reporter Joe Buscaglia, C.J. Spiller is practicing as well.

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

— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) September 28, 2012




Remember when Fred Jackson's knee injury was supposed to keep him out for eight weeks? Yeah, me neither. 

UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 4:15 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Great news for fantasy owners and Bills fans as head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that Fred Jackson will play Sunday vs. New England barring a setback before kickoff, according to the Buffalo Bills on Twitter.

Gailey: barring setback, Fred Jackson will play. "That seems to be the case"

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 27, 2012


UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 2:10 p.m. ET by Adam Wells

The optimism for Jackson playing this weekend, while not gone, does seem to be waning slightly based on the way he felt pre-practice. (via WGR 550)

"We'll go out and see what today happens, see what happens, see how I feel on it. I haven't moved around on it yet. I don't know if it's gonna be any worse or if it's gonna be any better. But, it was a little more sore than expected, but not too much."


"In my mind I play. But like I said, it's not always just totally up to me. I feel like I can play right now."

Given the way the injuries keep piling up on the Bills' running backs, Jackson's presence seems much more critical now than it ever has been. No disrespect to Tashard Choice, but he is not the long-term answer at running back. 



UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 12:45 p.m. ET by Rob Goldberg

While Fred Jackson is still optimistic about returning to the field this Sunday against the New England Patriots, his status is still up in the air.

Tim Graham of Buffalo News reported that the running back practiced on Wednesday, but was "visibly disappointed in how his knee performed." According to Graham, Jackson told reporters: 

I was a little sore this morning -- a little sore, a little swollen. I got in the training room. They did what they could. We'll go out today and see what happens. I haven't moved around on it yet. I don't know if it's going to be any worse or any better.

This does not seem like the veteran is too confident about his ability to start in Week 4, but the option has not been ruled out.

Teammate C.J. Spiller is also working through an injury and is questionable for the game. This means fantasy owners should attempt to pick up third-string running back Tashard Choice this week in case neither player is able to play.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 5:10 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

Fred Jackson's recovery from a sprained knee is not progressing as quickly as the running back hoped it would. 

Tim Graham of the Buffalo News quoted Jackson saying, "There were some things that I liked, but there's a lot of stuff that I've got to work on, too. It's a good thing we've got a week. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully, it will continue to get better."

Graham also notes that the Bills RB had hoped to play this Sunday, and this recent development casts doubt on his ability to do that.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 2:15 p.m. ET by Tim Daniels

Another good sign for Jackson as he returned to practice today, according to the team's official Twitter feed.

RB Fred Jackson has returned to practice

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 26, 2012

The Bills face a huge test against the Patriots this weekend, so getting Jackson back would provide a big boost to the offense following the injury to CJ Spiller. Unless something changes between now and Sunday, he should be back in the lineup quicker than anticipated.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8:53 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Barring a setback, fantasy players and Bills fans will see Fred Jackson (knee) return to the field when Buffalo takes on New England. Jackson said he expects to play in a radio interview, according to WNY Papers' jmaloni.

"Bills running back Fred Jackson said he will definitely play against the New England Patriots this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. He made that comment Monday night to co-host Bob Koshinski live on WBBZ-TV's 'The Fred Jackson Show' at the Eastern Hills Mall studio.

'Unless something completely unexpected happens, I will be ready to go Sunday,' Jackson said."


UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 24 at 11:06 p.m. ET by Richard Langford

More positive signs pointing towards Jackson's return for Week 4. ESPN's Chris Mortensen mentioned during the halftime of Monday Night Football that Jackson will "probably" return next week when the Bills take on the Patriots. 

Rotoworld documented his comment online. 

---End of update---

The Buffalo Bills' star running back, according to head coach Chan Gailey, will return to practice this week with a good shot of playing on Sunday against the New England Patriots (via Chris Brown of the Bills Blog):

“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.”

Well, that was quick. 

Jackson hasn't just been bitten by the injury bug over the past nine months, he's been nearly eaten alive. After breaking out as one of the most productive backs through the first 10 games of the 2011 season, he was lost for the season due to a fractured fibula. With expectations back to high levels for this season, the six-year veteran got just six carries in before suffering his knee injury. 

But not even two nasty injuries in less than a year can keep the former Coe College Kohawk—seriously, it's a thing—down (via ESPN's Adam Schefter):

Bills RB Fred Jackson said he's 70-75 percent certain he will be able to play Sunday vs. New England.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 24, 2012

I'm almost sure he's not made up of the same stuff as us normal people.


Fantasy Value

The Bills would be smart to ease Jackson back into action, but the absence of C.J. Spiller will make that considerably harder to do (via CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora):

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

That means for the next one-to-two weeks, Jackson is a must-start.

Yes, Tashard Choice is apparently still in the league and will steal some carries, and yes, the Patriots have been one of the stingiest teams in the league against the run (that is, until they ran into Ray Rice on Sunday night), but I don't really care. 

Jackson is too much of a weapon and represents too much of an upgrade over the rest of Buffalo's mediocre offense to ignore. He'll get his touches and as long as Spiller remains out, he belongs in your lineup.

Once Spiller returns, the situation gets cloudier, but I'm under the impression this will be one of those rare backfields with two reliable fantasy running backs at the same time. 

Despite the injuries, it's time to invest in this running, pass-catching, do-everything backfield. 



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