Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson’s injury-plagued 2012 season is over.
Jackson suffered a Grade 2 sprain of the medial-collateral ligament in his right knee Sunday according to a tweet from his agent, Ron Raccuia.
Bills coach Chan Gailey said the prognosis is that Jackson would need a minimum of three weeks to heal. With only three games left in the season, Jackson eventually will be placed on injured reserve.
“He’s not going to make it,” Gailey said. “He’s going to be out for the rest of the year.”
Jackson was injured with about 5:30 left in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 15-12 loss to the St. Louis Rams in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers crashed into Jackson’s right knee on a run up the middle. The good news for Jackson and the team is that he didn’t suffer a more serious injury on the play.
It’s the second straight season Jackson has had his season cut short by injury, following a broken leg in 2011 that cost him the final six games of last year.
The injury troubles have continued this season. Jackson missed two games earlier this season after suffering a sprained lateral-collateral ligament in his right knee in the season opener, then missed a game after suffering a concussion against New England in Week 10.
He finishes the season with 115 carries for 437 yards and three touchdowns plus 34 receptions for 217 yards and a touchdown.
C.J. Spiller will get the lion’s share of the carries, with Tashard Choice as his backup.
Spiller took issue with the notion he gets “winded,” as has been brought up by Gailey at times this season, including Sunday.
“I’m not going to get into a battle with my head coach if I’m winded,” Spiller said. “I’m in shape. Let’s just put it like that. I’m in shape. If I wasn’t in shape, then I shouldn’t be on the field. But I’m in shape.”
Spiller said he asked to come off after his 15-yard screen play in the first half, but that was the only time during Sunday’s game.
No decision has been made on whether the team will add a third running back, with the possibility that fullback Corey McIntyre could assume the role.
While Jackson is out for the season, the Bills might be getting a pair of players back for Sunday’s game against Seattle in Toronto.
“We’ve got some guys coming back,” Gailey said. “Mark [Anderson] is going to do some stuff [today], maybe we can get him back. We get Aaron [Williams] back it looks like this week. We’re getting some guys back. We’re still hopeful we’ll get Eric [Wood] back, not this week, but maybe for the last two if we get fortunate.”
It takes a master’s degree in imagination to think about the Bills making the playoffs, but it’s still mathematically possible. Gailey, however, was unaware of that Monday morning during his radio show on WGR 550.
““You’re right, the playoffs are out of the picture for us now,” he said. “So what is in the picture? It’s working to do your best and get better every time you walk out there and be a pro. That’s all I know how to do. You evaluate a lot of things. You try to get better. You try to become a team that improves upon last year. You try to improve your record from last year.”
After catching up on the scores from Sunday, Gailey’s tune had changed Monday afternoon.
“I guess mathematically we are still in it. Go take advantage of your opportunity. It’s here,” he said. “I’d be sick as a dog if we said it’s over and we found out that if we’d have won the last three when we get to the end of the year, and that would have gotten us in, and we didn’t take advantage of that. So here it is. We get an opportunity still. We’re still alive.”