By Tim Graham
Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been coy when discussing the possibility he played the second half of last season with a rib injury.
Did he have one? Didn't he? If so, how bad was it?
Fitzpatrick won't say, but running back Fred Jackson recently discussed the injury on Cleveland sports-radio station 92.3 The Fan with co-hosts Dustin Fox (the former Bills defensive back) and Adam "The Bull" Gerstenhaber (the former Batavia Muckdogs play-by-play voice).
Jackson was asked how much Fitzpatrick's rib injury played a role in the quarterback's late-season slump.
"It was a huge part of it," Jackson said. "Not a lot of people knew about it because we kind of just wanted to keep it under wraps. But any time you have ribs that are bothering you and you're a quarterback it's going to be hard to throw the football.
"So that's the thing about this year. He's healthy. We think he's going to be able to make some plays for us. As long as we keep him upright and give him a chance to see things down the field, he's going to make some plays for us. That's what we're looking forward to and what we know he's capable of doing."
Jackson touched on several Bills topics throughout the interview and echoed General Manager Buddy Nix's remarks about not being afraid of the New England Patriots.
"We were able to compete with those guys last year," Jackson said, "and put some points up on them and get a win here and go down to New England and jump out to an early lead down there.
"They're a good team, and they got all their accolades for a reason. But we feel like we can compete with them. This is always a tough division to play in. We expect that every year, and we're going to be one of the teams that everybody else has to contend with as well.
"That being said, if we go out and take care of our business we think we can compete with anybody, and we have a good chance of winning this division."