The Bills weren’t able to come back and beat the Patriots on Sunday, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying by running back C.J. Spiller.
Spiller continued his season-long habit of breaking big plays on the ground and in the passing game with 131 total yards on 13 touches. He’s averaging more than eight yards per touch so far this year, prompting calls for a bigger role in his timeshare with Fred Jackson. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was one of those making the call last week and he repeated it in an interview with WGR on Monday.
“I think you can never give him enough touches,” said Fitzpatrick, via the team’s website. ”We can all see what he can do with the football. When he and Fred are playing you look at it collectively. We try to get both of them a big number of touches. We stayed with the run game in the second half even though we were behind. We’ve got to continue to find ways to get him his touches and get him in space because the guy is absolutely electric and in the 13 touches he had yesterday made some huge plays for us.”
If the Bills have kept Spiller on a short leash out of concern for Spiller’s ability to remain as productive with a bigger workload, they may not have much choice but to throw caution to the wind this week. Jackson, who had 20 touches Sunday, suffered what the team has decided to call “concussion-like symptoms” on the flight home from New England. The likelihood that a concussion caused those symptoms makes him unlikely to play on Thursday night against the Dolphins.
Spiller should see more time even if Jackson were healthy, but you gotta start somewhere.