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Despite ankle injury, C.J. Spiller finally scores first TD

By Tim Graham

CLEVELAND -- Given all the Buffalo Bills' injuries lately, fans had to be relieved to see C.J. Spiller make a Spilleriffic touchdown run Thursday night.

Spiller has fought through various injuries and an uninspiring statistical start. He entered the FirstEnergy Field with a 3.5-yard average and zero touchdowns.

A left ankle injury made him questionable to play against the Cleveland Browns. If he was able to go, then he'd likely be restricted. He admitted after the game he was "right at 80 percent" health.

"Sometimes," Spiller said, "you have to play this game injured."

His touches were limited. His impact was not.

On the Bills' first drive after halftime, Spiller took a handoff from EJ Manuel and darted to the right side. The Browns' front seven were aggressive and clogged his lane, but Spiller made a slick move, cutting to the left. Tight end Scott Chandler and receiver T.J. Graham made key blocks.

Spiller wasn't touched until his teammates hugged him in the end zone. His 54-yard touchdown tied the game at 17.

"The offensive line did a great job blocking up front," Spiller said. "The biggest thing is that I pressed the line of scrimmage as much as I could. I was able to get a jump cut to the left and saw T.J. Graham do a great job blocking the corner.

"From then on, I just looked up at the Jumbotron. I knew my ankle wasn't 100 percent, but I was just seeing if I could outrun guys on a bum ankle."


C.J. Spiller | EJ Manuel | Scott Chandler | T.J. Graham
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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 |