C.J. Spiller’s been running on one leg for the past two weeks.
A sprained left ankle has robbed the Buffalo Bills’ running back of his trademark shiftiness. He played only 30 combined snaps against Cleveland and Cincinnati, both losses.
But Spiller returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday for the Bills, and said he hasn’t been frustrated by the constant dings this season.
“Injuries happen, stuff like that happens. You just have to deal with it. It’s not going to do me any good to sit around and complain,” he said. “That’s not going to change the situation. You just try to get as healthy as you can as quickly as you can. You wish that it wouldn’t happen, but when you’re playing a sport like this, you know things like this are going to happen.”
Spiller said he was able to run at practice without much of a limp, but still isn’t able to cut the way he’d like.
“It’s keeping me from possibly turning in big plays, but I still go out there and just try to give it all I can,” he said. “It’s all about just having confidence in planting off it. Once I do, I think I’ll be fine. It’s getting closer and closer to me getting back to 100 percent.”
Bills coach Doug Marrone described Spiller’s injury as “nagging,” and said that he makes strides during the week, but then much of that progress is lost when Spiller plays in a game. With that in mind, the coach was asked whether the team would consider sitting Spiller for a week in an effort to get him to 100 percent.
“It goes back to they want to be out there,” Marrone said. “So I think that if it’s something that, we see it as where it’s not progressing or it hasn’t been better than the week before, that’s obviously an option.”
Marrone said he has yet to make a decision on who will be Thad Lewis’ backup at quarterback Sunday. Recently signed Matt Flynn will have had only three full practices by that point, but sounds in the running.
“Right now, I mean, we’re still going with Matt, working with Matt to get him up to speed,” the coach said. “I think at the end of the week we’ll make that decision. You know, I think it’s too early for us right now.”
Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. turned 95 Thursday. Bills President and Chief Executive Officer Russ Brandon went to Wilson’s suburban Detroit home to celebrate with him. The Bills created a video of well wishes from many people in the organization for the owner.
Bills receiver Chris “7-Eleven” Hogan is returning to where he became a star, of sorts, during a stint with the Dolphins.
Hogan got plenty of airtime on the HBO program, “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins” prior to the 2012 season.
It was on one episode of the show that Hogan earned his nickname, courtesy of former Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, because he was “always open,” like the convenience store chain.
“Obviously when you get cut by a team, any chance you get to play them, it’s kind of like a sweet revenge thing when you get to step on the field against them,” Hogan said. “There is definitely a little extra motivation working this week. … I’m just excited to get down there and play against those guys.”
With Stevie Johnson hurting the past two weeks, Hogan has been busy for the Bills, playing 38 snaps against Cleveland in Week Five and 20 against Cincinnati in Week Six.
Hogan was the target for Lewis on an incomplete pass on third down in overtime against the Bengals.
“It just kind of reassures me that I can play in this league. There’s no doubt about that,” Hogan said of what he took from playing in overtime last week. “Being able to get on the field and be open, you know, I think that’s really a key part. You may not be targeted every single time, but are you winning on your individual routes and doing what you’re supposed to? That was big for me. It was exciting for me to be out there.”