Published November 12, 2012
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Bills running back Fred Jackson is out with a concussion, and there's at least one teammate who's unhappy with how Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes celebrated after delivering the blow.
"Yeah, he'll get his," backup running back Tashard Choice said on Monday. "I don't like to see nobody get hurt, and then on top of that (Spikes) making fun of him while he's on the ground."
Choice was referring to how Spikes flexed his arm and then mouthed off at Jackson and several Bills players while the running back was down late in the fourth quarter of a 37-31 loss at New England.
"You know it's cool to make a big hit," Choice said. "But it's not cool when somebody's down like that."
Coach Chan Gailey announced Jackson was diagnosed with a concussion and will not play Thursday, when the Bills (3-6) host AFC East rival Miami (4-5).
Gailey said Jackson began not feeling well during the team's flight home. Tests taken Monday morning confirmed that he had sustained a concussion.
Jackson was hurt at the end of a 9-yard catch and run, when he lowered his head while being swarmed by three New England defenders. Spikes got to Jackson first, lunging into the running back with his left forearm striking Jackson directly on the helmet.
Jackson fell immediately to the ground and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by center Eric Wood.
After being treated by trainers, Jackson appeared woozy while making his way to the sideline. He did not return, though the Bills final drive ended four plays later when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass intended for rookie T.J. Graham, was intercepted by safety Devin McCourty.
Spikes was not penalized on the play. He was penalized for roughing the passer earlier in the game, when he lunged headfirst into Fitzpatrick with enough force to knock off the quarterback's helmet.
Fitzpatrick took issue with Spikes following the game.
"I think he's a punk at times," Fitzpatrick had said. "He's not high on my list."
Spikes was not available because Patriots players have two days off.
Updating the status of other injured players, Gailey said defensive end Chris Kelsay has a 50-50 shot of playing Thursday after a neck injury forced him to miss the game against New England. Gailey added, defensive end Mark Anderson had surgery last week to repair a left knee injury, and will miss at least two more weeks.
Jackson's injury means the Bills will be without half of their formidable one-two punch of a running attack that includes co-starter C.J. Spiller.
The two have combined for 1,410 yards from scrimmage — nearly half of Buffalo's 3,228 yards offense — and accounted for nine of 24 touchdowns scored on offense. Buffalo ranks sixth in the NFL in yards rushing and second in averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
Jackson has already missed two games after spraining his right knee in a season-opening 48-28 loss to the New York Jets. Spiller also capably filled in last year in a full-time role after Jackson missed the final six games with a broken bone in his right leg.
"As an offense, we're definitely going to miss him because he brings so much to our team," said Spiller, who leads NFL running backs in average 7.3 yards a carry. "But this is familiar territory for me."
The Bills have been careful to limit Spiller's carries even when Jackson's been out. His career high came last year, when he had 19 carries in a 28-24 loss to the New York Jets.
"I'm not worried about how many times I touch it. I'm just pretty much, from here on out, just worried about wins," Spiller said. "I'm just trying to help my team win so we can experience what it feels like to play in the playoffs."
That's a long-shot at best for a Bills team that's lost five of six and finds itself in jeopardy of extending its postseason drought to 13 seasons.
Gailey remains upbeat about the Bills chances to make a run, and is encouraged after seeing signs of the team playing better in its past two games, including a 21-9 loss at Houston two weeks ago.
"We did not win, but we played fairly well against two of the best teams in the AFC," Gailey said. "And I think if we will continue to get better that will help us with the future and the rest of our schedule."
NOTES: The Bills announced the game Thursday is a sellout. The team said at least 10,000 tickets are available for each of its final three games at Ralph Wilson Stadium this season. ... The Bills signed DB Delano Howell to their practice squad three days after he was released from the team's active roster. ... The Bills 35 first downs against New England set a team record.
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