Bills feature back C.J. Spiller has been fighting through a persistent ankle injury that isn't improving enough to allow him to put his full game on display the past three games. Taping his ankle up and playing has not allowed his ankle injury to improve much week to week despite limited action. Head coach Doug Marrone sounds as if he may choose a different course of action this week and sit Spiller down this Sunday. If that's the decision Spiller insists he'll support it.
"I have no problem with coach Marrone. I think we have a great relationship. Concerning my injury I think we're both on the same page," said Spiller after not practicing for a second straight day Thursday. "He wants what's best for me and also what's best for the team. He's going to make the right decision and I'm going to back him. There's no feud, no miscommunication or missed dialogue."
"He wants to go, but we've got to make good decisions," said Marrone Thursday. "He doesn't feel as good in my opinion. He might say it, but as far as how he's looked… You see it during the game and you see it out here at practice. We've got to make a good decision, a tough decision."
Part of the problem with Spiller's ankle injury is it has largely robbed him of two of his greatest assets, which make the dynamic back who he is.
I think that's where coach and I are on the same page," said Spiller. "Everybody understands that speed and quickness are 98 percent of my game. If I'm not able to go out there and make a guy miss with my quickness it kind of works in their favor. But to me I think I can out run a lot of guys with a bad ankle. But the quickness and the cutting part is the hurdle I have to climb over."
At this point it sounds like Marrone might lean in favor of rest over playing him in a reduced role as has been the case the last three weeks.
"My thing is if we put him on that field can we hold him accountable for what we're asking him to do," Marrone asked rhetorically. "And if the answer is no or we're not sure or he's a little banged up or he missed practice this week – If we're going to say things like that as coaches then we really don't need to put that player out on the field (even though) he's saying he's ready to go."
Spiller has been gutting it out each week alongside fellow back Fred Jackson as the two have hobbled through the past few games. As badly as he wants to help his team Spiller sounds like he is open to a new course of action to get his ankle right.
"I understand his thinking," said Spiller of Marrone. "He's got to do what's best for me and what's best for this team. What's best for this team is going out there and trying to get wins and putting the healthiest guys out there. Everybody understands, you can see it on tape.
"A big part of my game is my quickness and speed and I'm just not getting that explosion and acceleration that I want. I'm able to run, but not like I'm capable of and if we decide to rest it, I'll back the coach and we'll rest it and that'll give us more time to do more treatment and come next week we'll see how it feels."