Fred Jackson a huge loss for Bills

C.J. Spiller will have to carry the load for the Bills now that starting running back Fred Jackson...

C.J. Spiller will have to carry the load for the Bills now that starting running back Fred Jackson (above) is out indefinitely. (DOUG BENZ/Reuters file photo)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:01 PM ET

As bad as the Buffalo Bills were Sunday, Monday was even tougher to stomach.

Running back Fred Jackson, the guy who makes the Buffalo Bills go is now expected to be out for a minimum of three weeks and likely longer.

An inconclusive MRI has head coach Chan Gaily optimistically predicting somewhere between three and eight weeks but optimism was in short supply in the wake of that 48-28 pounding the Jets inflicted on Buffalo Sunday.

The news is worse for wide receiver David Nelson who is done for the year after tearing his ACL in the same game.

History suggests a Bills team without Jackson in the backfield is a mere shadow of the alternative.

Last season it was a fractured right fibula that cut short a very promising season for Jackson, who was on pace for a career year.

With Jackson running the football, the Bills were a respectable 5-5, that fifth loss coming in the game in which he broke his leg in November.

Without him in the lineup, the Bills were a woeful 1-5 the rest of the way.

According to reports it’s the severe swelling in the area that has got in the way of doctors getting a clearer picture of what they are dealing with. Jackson will use the next week or so to rest and let the swelling go down before having another MRI but eventually he will have to have surgery. The team hopes to have a more definite prognosis after that second MRI.

Finding a bright spot in all that doom and gloom, particularly for anyone who actually watched the beating the Bills took, is next to impossible, but not entirely.

With Jackson out of commission, C.J. Spiller stepped his game up and with 169 yards on the ground will go into next week’s action as the leading rusher in the entire NFL.

Now if he can keep that up, Jackson’s loss will be negated, but keep in mind that all of Spiller’s yardage came with the Jets already in front 21-0. He wasn’t facing a defence that was do or die with every play. They had a cushion, and they played like it.

Spiller was Buffalo’s first-round pick, ninth overall in Buddy Nix’s first draft after joining the Bills.

He has yet to live up that lofty draft position, although he made a nice start of it on Sunday. Spiller, as Gailey pointed out in his daily press briefing Monday, was going to get his touches anyway. Now he’s just going to get a few more.

He’ll now have at least a month to keep building on what he showed in the latter stages of that Jets game.

Tashard Choice, the former Cowboys back, is the guy who is going to have a door opened for him because of Jackson’s misfortune.

Nelson, the No. 3 receiver on the Bills depth chart coming into the game will see his spot on the roster filled by rookie T.J. Graham, the Bills third-round pick this past year out of North Carolina St.

No matter how long Jackson remains out, the Bills need to move the needle again. Coming out of the pre-season and pretty much since the team announced the signing of free agent DE Mario Williams, it was felt the Bills were turning a corner.

One game into the season, all that optimism is gone. They need to find a way to get it back and Gailey knows it.

“Bills fans live and die with us,” Gailey said. “I understand that. I understand how they feel. I keep trying to tell everybody that I believe we are doing to be a good football team, but time is the only thing that will tell on that and winning is the only healer.”

Next up for the Bills are the Kansas City Chiefs who visit Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.

QUICK KICKS

Browns cornerback Joe Haden, who played so well in a tough loss to Philadelphia has lost his appeal and will sit out the next four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs ... Four quarterbacks — Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, and Eli Manning — were thrilled with the news as those are the next four opponents for the Browns ... Peyton Manning’s preparation for the Atlanta Falcons got a little easier with news that Falcons starting cornerback Brent Grimes is through for the year after tearing his Achilles tendon in the win over Kansas City. Fortunately for the Falcons they have proven veteran Asante Samuel on the roster after signing the free agent in the off season ... It’s not all sunshine and puppy dogs in Jets camp this week. The monster win over the Bills has been tempered by news that All-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis suffered a minor concussion in the game and is uncertain to play this Sunday at Pittsburgh ... Arizona quarterback John Skelton who won the starting job over Kevin Kolb in the pre-season suffered a low ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over Seattle. Kolb came on and led the Cards to a winning touchdown drive. How long Skelton will be out of the lineup is uncertain.

BLOUNT HAS BUCS CONFUSED

LeGarrett Blount has gone from starting tailback to major puzzle in less than a season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup running back is officially in limbo until at least Wednesday.

Blount appeared to have been injured just before the half as he got up from a tackle unsteady, went down and then belatedly grabbed his right leg.

Blount did not return to the game, finishing with three carries and a single two-yard reception.

Asked on Monday for an injury update, Bucs head coach Greg Schiano sounded as perplexed as anyone regarding Blount’s status.

“LeGarrette could have gone back in the game,” Schiano told reporters Monday. “So let me make that clear. I don’t know if we’re all certain on what’s ailing LeGarrette. He came out of the game and we thought it was his leg. We’re not sure. So we’re just keeping a close eye on him to make sure there’s nothing more serious. I think he’s okay.”

Blount lost the starting tailback job to rookie Doug Martin during the pre-season so the injury, if it is in fact an injury, won’t have that big an impact on the Bucs who travel to the Meadowlands this week to take on the Giants.

But the way the team is handling it is very strange.

The Bucs are off Tuesday so this situation likely what be cleared up until Wednesday.


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