The New England Patriots next opponent, the Buffalo Bills, is known for having one of the best two-headed rushing attacks in the NFL. After C.J. Spiller went down on Sunday, it looked like the Bills would be without both Spiller and Fred Jackson against the Patriots in Week 4 to some.
However, Jackson, who keeps on proving he is one of the toughest players in the game, is making a six-week injury turned two-week injury a reality. He gave himself a 70-75% chance of playing on Sunday, and head coach Chan Gailey has raved about his incredibly quick progress from an LCL tear (three to eight week timetable).
Jackson has progressively increased his health, and his two week return from this injury is certainly one of those rare stories you see on the injury front.
All that optimism has culminated in this; Jackson has returned to practice.
Incredible right? Jackson is a notorious Pats-killer, and he is one of the most talented and versatile backs in the league with his speed, toughness, pass blocking ability, and receiving ability.
The Bills are lucky to have such a talented RB duo, and it looks like Jackson will be playing against the Pats on Sunday. Although Spiller has not been ruled out, I expect him to be out due to Jackson’s return and the fact that he sustained his shoulder injury just a couple of days ago. Gailey said it isn’t as bad as once thought, but it’s still most likely going to keep him out of Week 4′s game against New England.
Meanwhile, Tashard Choice and Jackson will be splitting carries, which is great news for our AFC East rivals. I highly doubt the Bills would want to roll with Choice- a chance-of-pace No. 3 back- as the best option against the Pats vaunted run defense.
So far, Jackson has made huge strides, but the progression from the injury still isn’t over. If he keeps moving forward at this rate, them he will be in line for a full workload which will no doubt scare the Patriots. We already struggled against Ray Rice and the Baltimore Ravens. While Jackson isn’t as good as Rice, he’s still one of the best backs in the league and has similar versatility.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.