Jackson's injury leads to Spiller Time in Buffalo

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 13, 2012
(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) By JOHN WAWROW AP Sports Writer The only thing C.J. Spiller was running out of in Buffalo was the patience needed to answer the near-weekly round of questions of why he wasn't more involved in the Bills' offense. ''Pretty much, because, I don't know what else you all want me to say,'' Spiller said. ''I can only carry the ball when my number's called.'' Spiller should get accustomed to hearing his No. 28 called far more often over the final three games. That's because ''Spiller Time'' has finally arrived after co-starting running back Fred Jackson was placed on the season-ending injured reserve Tuesday because of a sprained right knee. Spiller doesn't enjoy the circumstances behind why he'll be getting more playing time. And yet, he's up to the challenge as Buffalo (5-8) prepares to ''host'' the Seattle Seahawks (8-5) at Toronto on Sunday. ''I'm not necessarily eager. I'm just eager to try to see what I can do to try to help us win,'' Spiller said. ''It's time for every playmaker on this team to rise up a little bit, including myself. So I definitely have to take it to another notch.'' Another notch might take his game to an unprecedented level. With 944 yards on 144 carries, Spiller is averaging 6.55 yards per run. That's the NFL's highest total through 13 games since 1963, when Hall of Famer Jim Brown averaged 6.61 yards per carry with the Cleveland Browns. Spiller insists he has nothing to prove to anyone whether he's getting 20-plus carries or just seven as happened in a 15-12 loss to St. Louis last weekend. ''My teammates know what I can do. My coaches know what I can do. I know what I can do as an individual. The only thing you have to prove is wins,'' Spiller said. ''I'm not in the business to try to please `Joe Blow' down the street because he wants me to carry the ball 30 times. That's not what we're all about.'' Spiller has been the Bills' most dynamic threat this season. And he's finally playing up to the expectations the team saw in drafting him with the ninth pick in 2010. He leads the team with five touchdowns rushing and is on the verge of his first 1,000-yard season. Also a threat in the passing attack, Spiller has 34 catches for 354 yards and a score. Spiller's production, however, has been overshadowed by lingering questions and criticisms of coach Chan Gailey, and why the running back isn't on the field more often for an offense that could certainly use a spark. Spiller has had 15 or more carries this only twice this season, with a career-best 22 for 91 yards in a 19-14 win over Miami on Nov. 15. There have been far more times when Spiller's seemingly been overlooked, such as last week when he had only three carries in the second half. Gailey explained Spiller's time was limited because of how the running back rotation was split with Jackson, who had nine carries. And he defended the need for having a rotation as an opportunity to keep both of his running backs fresh. ''They're both great players, and neither one of them are going to get it as much as they want,'' Gailey said. ''You could look at it and say there's a couple of plays I wish (Spiller) was in there on. And there were a couple of plays I wish Fred was in there on to be perfectly honest.'' That rotation is now out the window with Jackson hurt. Gailey said Spiller will get a majority of playing time, with third-stringer Tashard Choice serving as the backup. The two-back rotation is new to Gailey, an offensive-minded coach who has 18 years of NFL experience. In Dallas, he leaned on Emmitt Smith in 1998-99; in Pittsburgh, it was Jerome Bettis in the mid-90s; and in Denver, he was the offensive coordinator who had Bobby Humphrey break 1,100 yards in both 1989 and `90. Gailey's philosophy changed last season when he was impressed by how Spiller closed the season averaging 74 yards over the final six games filling in for Jackson, who broke his right leg. ''We came into the season saying, `We've got two great backs, let's use them both, that way we may not wear one down,''' Gailey said. ''I'd do it again if I had to do it over.'' Spiller isn't going to argue. ''My style is I'll never go up there and beg, beg, beg for the ball, because I understand we've got a lot of playmakers out there,'' Spiller said. ''Everybody wants to try to make the play. ''I'm no different, but I'm not going to sit around and mope.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Knicks did not fire coach as warning to Porzingis

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker