Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson said he will be ready to play Thursday when the Bills visit the Cleveland Browns in a nationally televised game.
“I’m definitely playing,” tweeted Jackson, who sprained a knee in Sunday’s win over Baltimore.
Jackson was somewhat limited in Tuesday’s practice, after which Coach Doug Marrone said: “I’m very comfortable with Fred.”
Meanwhile, fellow running back C.J. Spiller took part in a walk-through session but did not practice in the late afternoon. Spiller and he expects to make a decision about his sprained ankle in warm-ups before the game Thursday.
“I didn’t think I’d be able to run today but I was able to,” Spiller said. “I wasn’t full speed but I was at least able to move around. Tomorrow will be a huge day. Thursday I’ll get out there and test it out. If I can go, I’ll go. If I can’t, I can’t.”
Bills safety Jairus Byrd was able to practice fully for the first time this season but remains uncertain for Thursday.
Byrd still was working with the scout team in the 30-minute portion of practice the media watched but did get some snaps with the regular defense. He said he wants to be on the field helping his teammates.
“This is what you do,” Byrd said. “You don’t want to not be out there. But at the same time, you want to make sure you’re good when you go out there. You know, it’s your resume. You know what I’m saying? What you do out there. So, of course, I miss the game. This is what I do, and you appreciate it. Definitely you want to get out there.
“It’s heading in the right direction,” he added. “It’s getting there. It’s something that is chronic. So it takes awhile. Each time you’ve got to see. One day you might feel great and then you have a setback. It might get achy on you. It’s heading in the right direction so we’ll see.”
Marrone was cautious in his assessment: “We’re definitely getting better and getting real close. I don’t want to give you guys the wrong thing. We’ll see tomorrow, then after that we’ve got time to rest. Depending on how it goes, I’d like to be able to say day to day after that.”
“I feel pretty good,” Byrd said. “It’s been getting better and it’s a process. I haven’t had any setbacks so we’ll see. We’ll see. I got in there a little bit. I’m not going to say yes-no, that’s coach Marrone’s call. I honestly don’t even know.”
The health of the Bills’ secondary for Thursday remains uncertain. Starting cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) was limited. Safety Aaron Williams, who has played well in Byrd’s absence, sat out with a sore back. McKelvin will be a game-time decision. If McKelvin can’t go, it’s expected Williams will start in his place at cornerback and Jim Leonhard would play free safety.
Receiver Marquise Goodwin, coming back from a broken hand, caught passes and was limited. He won’t be ready for the Browns.
Also limited but expected to play were: Kraig Urbik (knee), Stevie Johnson (hamstring), Mario Williams (ankle) and Kyle Williams (Achilles).
Place-kicker Dustin Hopkins was limited but will not play Thursday.
Marrone on Hopkins: “I think we’re still working on the kickoff part of it. I think he’s a little bit day to day with that. As far as PAT and field goals, I don’t think there’s a problem.”
Linebacker Jabaal Sheard (knee) was the only Cleveland starter who did not practice Tuesday.
The Browns are honoring Hall of Fame legend Jim Brown at Thursday’s game. Brown’s No. 32 will be displayed throughout the stadium and on buttons and pins. He’s the team’s honorary captain for the game and will be featured in a halftime ceremony. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has declared Thursday “Jim Brown Day.”
Brown felt shunned by former team president Mike Holmgren and didn’t show up three years ago when the franchise unveiled its ring of honor for its players that are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. New team owner Jimmy Haslem overhauled the front office after last season. Brown re-joined the Cleveland organization as a special advisor May 29.