The good news is it appears Fred Jackson escaped a season-ending injury on Sunday when his right leg was awkwardly hyper-extended on a first-half carry against the Jets. At this point however, a prognosis on how long the Bills feature back will be out is unclear.
"It's going to be a few weeks," said head coach Chan Gailey. "It's not going to be three, but I don't think it's going to be eight, but it's probably somewhere in there in between. Hopefully sooner than later."
Jackson went for an MRI Monday to get a better look at his injured knee, but the inconclusive results clouded an accurate timetable for a possible return. The loss of Jackson is certainly significant. The playmaker is also the emotional leader of the team.
"Fred is a huge part of what we do," said Ryan Fitzpatrick. "That's a big loss for us to have him out of the lineup. We'll certainly miss him, but it was nice to see C.J. pick up where he left off last season. Having them in the game together obviously that doesn't happen when Fred is not healthy. Those two guys being able to feed off each other is going to be an issue too."
"It's a huge blow," said C.J. Spiller on the loss of Jackson. "Fred got voted as a captain and speaks to what guys think of him on this team. This just means I've got to do a great job of making sure that I'm ready to go until we get 22 back. But I have all the confidence in the world that we'll get this thing rolling."
Gailey takes some solace in knowing that Spiller is more than capable of handling the feature role at tailback in his offense, but is looking for Tashard Choice to take on a bigger role as well.
"Obviously C.J. was going to play a lot anyway so that wasn't an issue, but Choice has just got to step up and be available and do his part," Gailey said. "And he's a good player so I feel pretty good there."
Gailey didn't rule out adding another running back with an impending open roster spot to be created by David Nelson's season-ending knee injury.