C.J. Spiller Injury: Updates on Bills Star's Collarbone and Return

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2014

AP Images

C.J. Spiller injured his collarbone in October, an injury that required surgery and a trip to injured reserve with a designation to return.

The Bills still haven't given up on a possible return from the running back this season. Spiller was able to return to the practice field prior to Week 14 and will be added to the active roster for Week 16. He's listed as active for Sunday's game. 

Continue for updates.

Sunday, Dec. 21

Spiller Active vs. Raiders

Adam Caplan of ESPN confirmed that C.J. Spiller is active for Week 16 vs. Oakland:

Adam Caplan @caplannfl

#Bills RB Bryce Brown is inactive at #Raiders. RB C.J. Spiller, as expected, is active. #BUFvsOAK

Friday, Dec. 19

Spiller Probable vs. Raiders

Joe Buscaglia of WGR has the official release:

Joe Buscaglia @JoeBuscaglia

The CJ Spiller move is official http://t.co/KtgPPfIix3

Matthew Fairborn of the Syracuse Post-Standard has an update on Spiller's status:

Matthew Fairburn @MatthewFairburn

C.J. Spiller is probable for Sunday. He's going to be added to the active roster later today. Paper work is in to the league.

Monday, Dec. 15

Spiller To Return to Active Roster

Doug Marrone confirmed that C.J. Spiller will return to the Bills' active roster after injuring his collarbone in October, via the Bills:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

Doug Marrone: @CJSPILLER is cleared to return and will be added to the active roster. His readiness for return will be gauged this week.

Wednesday, Dec. 3

Spiller Returns to Practice Field

Matthew Fairburn of Syracuse.com reported that Spiller returned to practice Wednesday:

Matthew Fairburn @MatthewFairburn

Sammy Watkins and C.J. Spiller both on the field to start Bills practice. Marcell Dareus is also out there.

The Bills took to Twitter to post a video of their running back at practice: 

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

.@CJSPILLER is back on the field! https://t.co/gyF5LC4xao

Spiller commented on how he felt after practice:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

.@CJSPILLER "a little kid in a candy store" in his first day back on the field http://t.co/siRPVAur9k http://t.co/GCoDRJzXqu

Monday, Dec. 1

Bills Still Hoping Spiller Can Return

Around the NFL provided the latest on C.J. Spiller's recovery and return:

Around The NFL @AroundTheNFL

Bills remain hopeful C.J. Spiller will make late-season return: http://t.co/THWh5A6jEc

Tuesday, Nov. 4

Spiller Speaks on Recovery

Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com provides a statement from C.J. Spiller discussing his recovery and potential return this season:

'You’re a competitor. You want to be out there. You want to be out there to help your team win,' said Spiller in the Bills locker room Monday. 'This is the most I’ve ever missed in my playing career since I’ve been playing this game, which is going on 21 years now. So it really sucks, but I’ve still got a good positive outlook on it. I’m doing everything I can to make sure the guys are prepared on Sundays. I’m still watching film, looking over the game plan so I can stay in touch with everything so it’s not a foreign language when I return. Hopefully come playoff time I’ll be ready.'

Spiller was reluctant to weigh the chances of him returning before the end of the regular season.

'I don’t want to put a percentage on it. I’m just taking it one day at a time,' he said. 'Everything is looking good and feeling good. So rehab is going really well, so I don’t want to put the chance of anything on it. If I’m good to go I’ll go.'

Tuesday, Oct. 21

Spiller Placed on Injured Reserve

The Bills announced an update on Spiller on Tuesday:

The Buffalo Bills also announced that the team has placed RB C.J. Spiller on the Reserve/Injured, Designated for Return list.

Adam Caplan of ESPN provides some context on Spiller's timeline after the move:

Adam Caplan @caplannfl

So, Spiller will miss at least 8 weeks (6 weeks can't practice, 7th-8th weeks can practice if ready, can return in 9th week).

Spiller took to Twitter to talk to fans post-surgery:


Wanna thank all my family n fans for their prayers everything was successful I have all the Faith the team will be in playoffs contention

Monday, Oct. 20

Spiller Has Surgery on Collarbone

The Bills provided a statement from head coach Doug Marrone discussing CJ Spillers' injury and recovery:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

RB C.J. Spiller (clavicle) had surgery. No further update on his condition. "We'll wait and see what the doctor says," per Doug Marrone.

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

Doug Marrone: #Bills may look to add another RB to the Practice Squad.

Sunday, Oct. 19

Spiller Injures Collarbone

For C.J. Spiller, injuries are starting to become a theme.

Last season, Spiller missed just one game but spent most of the year battling a high-ankle sprain that limited his explosiveness. Now, he's back on the injury report after suffering a broken collarbone in Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings

Mike Rodak of ESPN provides injury details:

After being carted off in the first half, running back C.J. Spiller has a broken collarbone, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported. He will have surgery Monday, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan. Coach Doug Marrone said Spiller will be out "an undetermined time." He added that Fred Jackson, who was carted off with a groin injury, will need further tests.

Pro Football Talk reveals a more definitive report on Spiller's chances of returning this season:

ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk

Source: C.J. Spiller will have surgery tomorrow to repair broken collarbone, and he is done for the season.

The Buffalo Bills initially provided details on the injury:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

Spiller went down hard at the end of that 52-yard run. Being looked at by trainers. #MINvsBUF

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

#Bills RB C.J. Spiller has suffered a shoulder injury and is OUT for the game. #MINvsBUF

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora revealed the diagnosis is not good:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Initial diagnosis is a broken collarbone for CJ Spiller. Fred Jackson will need an MRI on his groin. Rough day for the Bills

This comes on the heels of Fred Jackson being carted off in the same game with a groin injury, as the Bills indicated:

Buffalo Bills @buffalobills

#Bills RB Fred Jackson has a groin injury and is OUT for the game. #MINvsBUF

Spiller's career has certainly been a roller-coaster ride. In his first two seasons, he accumulated just 1,270 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns, hardly the level of production the Buffalo Bills thought they would get from the No. 9 pick in the 2010 draft.

But in 2012, he appeared to have his breakthrough. He finished with 1,703 yards from scrimmage, eight touchdowns and a whopping 6.0 yards per carry. Finally, Spiller was living up to his hype as a game-changing, big-play running back. 

He took a step back in 2013, however. Hampered by that ankle injury, he limped his way to 1,118 yards from scrimmage and just two touchdowns, while his backfield mate, Jackson, finished with 1,277 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns. After seizing top billing in 2012, Spiller came into 2014 knowing that he would have to split touches with Jackson.

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 07: C.J. Spiller #28 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates his first quarter touchdown with Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills on September 7, 2014 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

Once again, the team will be left wondering how much more production it'll get from Spiller this season. The Bills will need to utilize Anthony Dixon while their starters are sidelined. 

Despite the injures, Spiller still is one of the more dangerous running backs in the NFL, and his big-play ability is tough to replicate. For defenses, having to deal with both Spiller and Jackson—and for Buffalo, keeping both fresh by having them share touches—has certainly benefited the Bills this season. And let's not forget that Spiller is also a very good kick returner when called upon to fill that role.

The Bills will certainly be hoping he can return sooner rather than later. When Spiller is on his game, the Bills are simply a far better football team.

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