Bills fans became all too familiar with injuries piling up in the aftermath of losses in 2009. One player that withstood the pounding as good as anyone last season was running back Fred Jackson, who played in all 16 games. But in the the Bills preseason opening loss to Washington Friday night, Jackson landed awkwardly on his hand after just his second carry of the game when a Redskins defender dragged him down by the facemask. Head coach Chan Gailey said it will be the last carry Jackson makes this preseason.
"Fred hurt his hand and we hope to be able to get him back for the first game, but we're not sure," Gailey said. "It hurts. Thank goodness it's preseason. When we get to early September it's going to be 0-0 on the win-loss column and thank goodness for that, but we've got to find who can do what in these next three ballgames and get ourselves ready for that first one, that's the biggest thing."
Jackson was seen on the sidelines later in the game with a heavy wrap on his left arm that ran from his fingertips to just under his elbow.
Making matters worse was the early exit by Marshawn Lynch, who also left the game in the first half with an ankle injury. He too did not return.
"Marshawn hurt an ankle," said Gailey. "I don't know the extent of it, but we're hoping it's a lot more short term than it is long term."
With Buffalo's top two backs sidelined, C.J. Spiller saw more action a bit earlier than he anticipated in the first half with Joique Bell and Chad Simpson handling most of the second half carries. Simpson finished as the leading rusher for the Bills with 67 yards.
"You just have to be ready to go," said Spiller who finished with 16 yards on four carries. "You never know when your number is going to be called. So I just prepared myself throughout the whole week, had to be ready to go and just wanted to try to go out there and execute the best way I can. Obviously we've got to do a whole lot more."
Bell, who had a 28-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and 52 yards total in the game, is ready to shoulder more of the load knowing Jackson will be sidelined.
"If coach needs me to step up, I'll step up," said Bell. "I'm here to do a job and it's fun out there. I love the game and I love playing it so if coach gives me an opportunity to go out there and play I'm going to take it."