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C.J. Spiller's limited usage not injury related

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills thought running back C.J. Spilller's high-ankle sprain was healed sufficiently enough to remove him from their injury report last week.

Despite that, Spiller still only saw 33 percent of the offensive snaps in Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Spiller was on the field for 22 of Buffalo's 67 offensive plays, running eight times for 23 yards and catching three passes for 11 yards.

Fred Jackson, meanwhile, took 44 snaps (66 percent), while third running back Tashard Choice saw just one play.

"Game plan. How we're putting those guys in there," Marrone said today when asked if Spiller's usage was at all still limited by injury. "Doesn't have anything to do with his ankle."

Marrone said Spiller's playing time "could increase, could decrease -- We'll see it week to week."

"As far as the running backs, I think both players are productive in their own way with two different styles, which isn't a problem. At the same sense, you know, did we run the ball like we wanted to the other day? Absoultely not. I don't think you need to be a genius to figure that out," the coach said. "How come? Why not? ... Very simple -- I think it always starts with up front, because I'm an offensive line coach. We could have done a better job up front."

Marrone said there were times during the game that his running backs missed a hole or missed a read, and that the blocking on the perimeter by his tight ends was sometimes not strong enough.

"To be able to run the football, you have to do all those things well," he said. "I think at times when we don't do that, then it's very difficult for us to run the football."


C.J. Spiller | Doug Marrone | Fred Jackson | Tashard Choice
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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 |