Bills running back C.J. Spiller said all last week that he wanted to play against the Saints despite an injured ankle, a familiar refrain over the last few weeks as Spiller played through the injury.
Spiller didn’t play particularly well, however, and coach Doug Marrone said he was considering sitting Spiller out in Week Eight in hopes of getting him 100 percent sooner rather than later. Any notions of a disconnect between player and coach were quickly tamped down and Spiller did wind up on the inactive list.
“I wasn’t ready,” Spiller said, via the Buffalo News. “It was coach Marrone’s decision. I respected that. Everybody knew that I wanted to play. I wanted to help us win. But it was best for me so I can get back to playing normally.”
Bills running backs ran 23 times for 83 yards in Sunday’s loss, but the second half saw the running game screech to a halt. Part of that was New Orleans’ lead, but the Saints defense also shut down what opportunities the Bills did have. That puts a lot of pressure on quarterback Thad Lewis, who had three turnovers on Sunday and isn’t going to lead an offense without an effective running game to too many victories at this point in his career.
Having a healthy Spiller would do a lot for that effectiveness. We’ll see if the Bills will have that in their pocket as this week progresses.