Following up on an item in this week's Team Notes. ... Fred Jackson knows he dodged a season-ending injury last Sunday in sustaining only a sprained LCL in the season opener against the Jets. Head coach Chan Gailey pegged Jackson’s time on the shelf between three and eight weeks. Jackson is confident his time on the sidelines will be closer to the short end of that prognosis.
“Hopefully sooner, but I’ll definitely be back in four weeks,” said Jackson. “Without a doubt.”
As BuffaloBills.com staff writer Chris Brown notes, that would peg Jackson's return to come in Week 5 when the Bills play the 49ers in San Francisco.
Jackson confirmed that it’s only a sprained ligament after having an MRI on Monday.
“No tear. I’m good,” he said. “Obviously I’m not where I want to be right now, but I feel good after looking at the film and then getting evaluated. So hopefully things happen sooner rather than later.”
The Bills back confirmed that he will get re-evaluated in about a week, but not because they couldn’t get a definitive look at his injured knee on the initial MRI.
“I’m actually not quite sure where that came from because we got a good picture of what we saw and we’re going with what the picture did say,” he said. “What we’re going to go re-evaluate is my healing. That’s what we’re going to look at in seven to 10 days. We’ve got a good picture of it and know what we need to do to get it right.”
Meanwhile, ESPN.com's James Walker suggests the good news is backup tailback and former first-round pick C.J. Spiller is more than ready to be a focal point of Buffalo's offense.
He was the biggest positive in the Bills' 48-28 blowout loss to the New York Jets this past Sunday. Spiller exploded for 169 rushing yards and a touchdown on 12 carries when Jackson went down.
Spiller is entering his third season and this is his time to take over the offense. As Walker noted, Spiller has always had the talent but not the opportunity.
That changed last season when Jackson went down with a knee injury and Spiller did a nice job to prove he's ready for a starting role.
Jackson is one of the leaders on offense. But Spiller is a bigger home-run threat who is more athletic and dynamic. Even if Jackson didn't get injured, many would make the case that Buffalo would be doing a disservice not to give Spiller a lion's share of the carries after his Week 1 performance.
Spiller has the potential to take over Buffalo's starting tailback job for good. Jackson has surpassed the infamous age of 30 for running backs and now he's injury prone. Spiller is in his prime.
Jackson is still good enough to add something to the Bills when he returns in a month or so. But if Spiller has anything to say about it, the veteran will be limited to the complementary role while the younger man continues to lead the way.