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Gailey believes C.J. Spiller can handle more carries

By Jay Skurski

It’s not going out on much of a limb to suggest that Bills running C.J. Spiller won't be able to maintain his robust average of 10.1 yards per carry that he's put up the first two weeks. Even half that total is solid. (The best yards per carry among running backs last year was that of teammate Fred Jackson, who averaged 5.5 per rush in 170 carries before being hurt).

So the question becomes, what happens when the yards don't pile up as easily as they have in the first two weeks? Bills coach Chan Gailey has been cautious about overusing Spiller in the first two seasons of his career. At 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, Spiller is solidly built for the role of the modern running back.

But can Spiller handle 25 or 30 touches a game if that's what's required?

“Can he? Yes he can. Will we ask him to? Probably not. I would like to not go out there and just run him 25 times a game, but if that is what it takes to win the game, that is what we will do,” coach Chan Gailey said. “You would rather not. When we get Fred (Jackson) back, and (Tashard) Choice did a great job, he really did do a good job [Sunday]. But when you get Fred back, you feel a lot more comfortable with splitting those carries and keeping both of them fresh.”

Spiller is tied for 17th in rushing attempts, at 29. He's got 34 overall touches through the first two weeks, almost evenly distributed (16 in the first week, 18 in the second). He's turned those into an NFL-leading 292 rushing yards and another 72 receiving.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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