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BILLS EXPECT RETURN OF RB FRED JACKSON
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 12:18 PM EDT

The Bills running back wasn’t counting himself out on Monday, a day after C.J. Spiller went down with a left shoulder injury that’s expected to keep him out for maybe a week.

Calling himself ahead of schedule in returning from a sprained right knee, Jackson gave himself a “70-75 percent chance” of playing on Sun., when the Buffalo Bills (2-1) host Patriots (1-2).

“My attitude is to go. I am playing. That is how I’m approaching it,” Jackson said. “I think I’m in possession of a really good shot. I like my possibilities.”

Jackson was at first expected to miss around a month after he was hurt in a season-opening 48-28 loss at the New York Jets 2 weeks ago. After spending last week working out on his very own along the sideline, Jackson will get his first test in a team setting when the Bills return to practice.

“My aim is to get out there and do as much as possible,” Jackson expounded. “I want to go out there and go full-go and see how my knee holds up and what happens.”

Jackson’s return has the potential of providing an enormous boost to an offense that was suddenly facing the likelihood of playing the New England Patriots without its 2 top rushers. Spiller was hurt after landing hard on his shoulder while being tackled in the 1st quarter of a 24-14 win at Cleveland on Sunday.

Coach Chan Gailey said tests taken showed the injury to Spiller was not as bad as at initially feared. Gailey wasn’t prepared to wholly rule out Spiller from playing against New England, but recognized the player has a better shot at playing the following weekend at San Francisco.  Basketball betting lines

As for Jackson, Gailey was impressed by the progress the RB showed in an individual workout earlier in the day.

“I’m very optimistic,” Gailey declared of Jackson’s chances to play.

Jackson asserted he still feels some pain in his knee, but described it as being OK. He also added that he’ll have to play with a custom-made brace.

Jackson’s goal has always been to return to play against the New England Patriots, and the injury to Spiller provided him an added sense of urgency.

The New England Patriots have been a Buffalo Bills thorn for much of this past decade. Patriots had won 20 of 21 conferences and 15 straight against Bills before a 34-31 loss here last season.

The running attack has supplied the Buffalo an identity three games into the season.

Spiller entered the game against Cleveland leading the NFL in both yards rushing (292) and yards from scrimmage (364). The 2010 1st-round draft pick is off to such a hot start that his 10.1 yards per carry is the highest total 2 games into a season — and with the minimum 25 carries — since Jim Brown averaged 11.3 yards in 1963.

Third-stringer Tashard Choice took control of following Spiller’s injury and finished with 91 yards on 20 carries. The Buffalo Bills now rank 3rd in the NFL with 534 yards rushing, and are 2nd in averaging 5.6 yards per carry.


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