The Buffalo Bills will have both star running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller active in today’s game against the New England Patriots, and both players will reportedly be utilized “evenly”, per Adam Schefter. Jackson, who is returning from an LCL sprain much earlier than expected, was always expected to play since practicing on Wednesday.
However, Spiller’s status heading into the game was less clear, but he is also active and started practicing on Thursday. The Bills were fine with his shoulder after testing it in pre-game warm-ups, so the Patriots vaunted run defense will have their hands full against both backs.
It’s interesting to see that Spiller will be sharing the carries evenly, because Jackson is going to be the starter and was more of a certainty to play in this game due to the fact that Spiller’s injury occurred more recently. Bills fans will be excited to see both guys getting the major carries, while Pats fans are hoping that Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, and the run defense bounces back after an off game against the Baltimore Ravens last week. They allowed over 100 rushing yards to Ray Rice.
The Bills have given the “okay” to both running backs, with Spiller’s activation being a pleasant surprise for fans of the home team. I have a feeling that we’ll see Jackson more often than Spiller (some of it is due to Jackson’s ability in pass protection), but the split should be even in terms of touches.
Schefter’s report is interesting, because Greg Bedard tweeted that he thinks Spiller is a “decoy” in today’s game. This makes things all the more interesting, so we’ll see if the Pats will have to account for another top RB.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.