The Buffalo Bills suffered a serious blow in their first preseason matchup against the Washington Redskins, when the team's leading rusher of the 2009 season, Fred Jackson suffered a broken bone in his left hand, and former first-round selection Marshawn Lynch suffered a high ankle sprain.
The Bills entered the 2010 season with arguably the most loaded backfield in the entire National Football League, and the injuries to two starting-caliber running backs were expected to set them back, despite the emergence of the No. 9 overall draft pick, C.J. Spiller.
Jackson's hand injury was expected to sideline him into the beginning of the season, however he was seen performing drills in practice this afternoon, while wearing a large cast.
On the injury, Jackson told BuffaloBills.com that he "drank a lot of milk," but more importantly, that he wouldn't attempt to carry a ball yet, as the injury isn't fully healed.
Lynch on the other hand, was seen running conditioning drills at full speed, according to Coach Chan Gailey, who stated to BuffaloBills.com, "He did running afterwards and kept up with everybody else, which is important, but we'll know a lot more [today] when we have a real practice."
The Bills face off against the Detroit Lions this week for the last preseason game, and Lynch is expected to play, which will be a great addition to a group that has contributed over 120 yards on the ground against the Indianapolis Colts and the Cincinnati Bengals in consecutive weeks.
What This Means For The Bills
Lynch's return allows Coach Gailey to utilize the multiple-back sets that he has commented on throughout the off season. The Bills are very deep at the running back position, and we saw certain packages with both C.J. Spiller and Marshawn Lynch on the field at the same time against the Washington Redskins.
Having Lynch back gives more options for the Buffalo offense, who will try to make the best use out of the weapons at their disposal, due to the lack of quality depth at the wide receiver positions.
Fred Jackson's return to practice is a good sign, and he even took the first rep with the first team offense, but it is important that he returns to full health before taking the field, as the team can't afford to sustain another injury to a key member of the squad.