Niagara Gazette

Sports

November 14, 2013

Bills' Spiller not concerned about playing time

Niagara Gazette — ORCHARD PARK — C.J. Spiller insists that he is not concerned about his lack of opportunities in the Buffalo Bills’ offense since returning to full health.

The running back has struggled to find his form this season as he works his way back from a high ankle sprain. He was a non-factor in Buffalo’s 23-10 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday with just eight carries for 23 yards and is splitting time with veteran Fred Jackson in the backfield.

“I’m just frustrated that we’re on a three-game losing streak,” Spiller said. “I’m not frustrated with the amount that I’ve touched. I’m just sick and tired of the losing.”

Much more was expected from Spiller leading up to the season. The 26-year-old established himself as one of the NFL’s top young running backs last year when he ran for 1,244 yards and became only the seventh player to finish a season with an average of six yards or more per carry.

In the preseason, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said that he would run Spiller “until he throws up.”

So far, the prospect of too many carries has not been an issue. Spiller is second on the Bills in rushing with 501 yards and one touchdown on 110 attempts. He’s shared reps with the 32-year-old Jackson, who has been a more consistent and dependable runner.

It doesn’t sound like that dual-back approach will change any time soon under coach Doug Marrone, who has leaned more on Jackson as the season has progressed.

“We’re eighth in rushing, we’re the only team that has two running backs over 500 yards, you know, both of those players are playing well so both of those guys are in there,” Marrone said. “I view them as both number ones for us. I’ve always said it, and from the beginning when I got the job, that I liked two different backs, I liked two different styles and that’s what we have in those two players.”

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