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Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson sounds ready to play Sunday against the New England Patriots, and C.J. Spiller might not be far behind.
Both practiced Friday and are listed as questionable heading into the AFC East showdown at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"I think they both have a chance, a legitimate chance," coach Chan Gailey said following practice.
Jackson said he's received clearance from team doctors to play on his sprained right knee. He practiced on a limited basis for three days in a row.
"As long as I feel like I'm capable of going, he's going to support what I do," Jackson said was the message he got from the team's medical staff. "It got better as the day went on [Friday] so that's always good. It felt good [Thursday], too, after practice. Excited to see what happens on Sunday."
Jackson, who will wear a knee brace if he does play, said he was still feeling some soreness, but that was to be expected. He's ahead of the initial timetable given for his recovery, which was set at 3-8 weeks.
"The soreness is definitely going to be there. I'll see what I can do about it Sunday," he said. "I'm sure they'll try and give me something to help. But that's just something I've got to deal with."
As far as aggravating the injury, he said that risk is always there.
"You always have to be aware of that but that's just part of the game," he said. "That could happen this week, that could happen in Week 13. Just go out there and play and go through it."
Spiller, who practiced for the second straight day with his sprained left shoulder, sounded a bit more on the fence.
"I think I'll be there, but we'll see. ... We're going to try and do as much as we can," he said. "We'll see what happens. I can see the improvement, but I know it's going to take a while before it's where I want it to be."
Spiller was weary of rushing things considering the Bills still have 12 games to play after Sunday.
"That's where you go with all the thinking. I'm not going to do anything that's going to jeopardize me or my team in the long haul. In order to get where we want to go, I definitely want to be a part of it," he said. "It's definitely going to be a lot of thinking and whatever decision I make, I know it'll be the best decision for us.
Wide receiver Ruvell Martin (ankle) will miss his second straight game, while cornerback Leodis McKelvin (groin) is probable after practicing fully Friday.
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The Patriots' injury report had a new addition Friday: tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Amherst native is listed as questionable for Sunday's game with a hip injury after practicing on a limited basis.
New England will be without two big offensive weapons in wide receiver Julian Edelman (hand) and tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle). Edelman missed the second half of last Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens after being hurt and did not practice all week.
In addition to Gronkowski, the Patriots listed nine other players as questionable. They are: Defensive end Brandon Deaderick, who was a new addition to the report Friday with an ankle injury, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), defensive tackle Justin Francis (ankle), defensive tackle Kyle Love (knee), guard Logan Mankins (hip), offensive lineman Nick McDonald (shoulder), cornerback Sterling Moore (knee), running back Shane Vereen (foot) and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back). Deaderick and Mankins did not practice Friday, the rest were limited.
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Bills special teams coach Bruce DeHaven denied having a rift with punter Brian Moorman, whom the team released Tuesday.
"He was totally professional. I liked Brian. I think he tried to do everything we were trying to do in the punt game," DeHaven said. "I have absolutely no problem with Brian in terms of any kind of relationship or anything he was trying to do when he was here."
As for why the move was made, DeHaven took a pass.
"I think I'll go with what [General Manager] Buddy [Nix] said. He's the guy that speaks for the organization. In terms of reasons for the move, I'll stick with what he had to say.
"I don't want to say anything that would denigrate Brian in any way. He had a great career here. He's got a great reputation in town. The move has been made and I don't want to say anything that might be misconstrued as something negative about Brian."
DeHaven indicated backup quarterback Tyler Thigpen will hold for kicker Rian Lindell on field goals and extra points.

email: jskurski@buffnews.com