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C.J. Spiller, Doug Marrone disagree about sprained ankle

By Tim Graham

For the second year in a row, C.J. Spiller disagrees with his coach regarding the running back's body.

Last season, Spiller took exception with Chan Gailey's opinion that Spiller got "winded" and needed to be removed from games.

Now Spiller disagrees with Bills coach Doug Marrone.

Marrone said this afternoon Spiller's sprained ankle "probably is not as well" than at this time last week and indicated Spiller might be well-served to rest Sunday rather than play against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

Spiller disagreed with his coach, telling Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan the ankle felt "10 times better" than it did last week.

"Nobody knows my body like me," Spiller said earlier to a group of reporters. Marrone "can only observe what he sees on the film, but I'm sitting here and telling you guys I feel better.

"I know my body better than anybody on this team, on this earth. I know how I feel."

Spiller didn't practice today. This is the fourth straight week Spiller has appeared on the injury report because of his ankle.

If Marrone wants Spiller to rest, then the coach probably must order him not to play. Spiller suggested he won't be able to rule himself out.

"Nah, because I played with turf toe my whole senior season," Spiller said of his terrific year at Clemson when he was a Heisman candidate and voted the ACC's best player. "I ain't going to let no ankle injury stop me.

"Playing with turf toe is more painful than playing on this ankle sprain, to me. I played the whole season with that."

Marrone seemed to realize he can't let Spiller make the final decision.

"C.J. wants to go," Marrone said. "He definitely wants to go. We're going to have to evaluate that during the week because I think we'll have to make a good decision.

"He's working hard. He's coming back. He wants to play. But at the end of the day we've got to make a good decision to see where he's at because we've just got to get him over this hump, and we haven't been able to do it for three weeks."

Spiller's ankle clearly limited him Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. He ran six times for 11 yards and caught three passes for minus-4 yards with a long reception for 1 yard.

"My spirit's high," Spiller said. "I'm going to try to practice throughout the week and come later on in the week it's going to be his decision.

"My goal is I want to be out there with my teammates. There's not a doubt in my mind that I'm not going to say 'Oh, I don't want to play.' That's not in my DNA. That's not how I was raised. You go out there and compete. You're going to be banged up."


C.J. Spiller | Chan Gailey | Doug Marrone
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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 |

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 |

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 |