Thursday November 6th, 2014

Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson has practiced the last two days but is "not ready yet" to return to game action, head coach Doug Marrone said Thursday, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com.

It's unclear if there's still a chance Jackson could play in Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs or if Marrone meant Jackson was out this week.

Jackson injured his groin in Buffalo's Week 7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 19. His injury typically keeps players out for four weeks, but Jackson appeared ahead of schedule and seemed likely to return early, and his return to practice added to the optimism that he might.

The four-week timeline would keep Jackson out for both Sunday's game and the Bills' next game, which comes Thursday against the Miami Dolphins. Jackson said Monday there was a chance team doctors could hold him out until Thursday's game to ensure he's fully ready to return.

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Marrone also said Thursday, according to Rodak, that he wouldn't elaborate on receiver Sammy Watkins' status. Watkins didn't practice Thursday after leaving practice early Wednesday with a groin injury.

Jackson's continued absence means the Bills are down their top two running backs. C.J. Spiller broke his collarbone in the same game Jackson sustained his injury and is out for the season.

In the one game Buffalo has played since Jackson's and Spiller's injuries, Anthony Dixon had 22 carries for 44 yards and Bryce Brown had seven carries for 15 yards against the New York Jets in Week 8. The pair is expected to get the bulk of the carries as long as Jackson remains out.

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Jackson has 239 rushing yards, 261 receiving yards and two total touchdowns this season and 5,360 rushing yards total in eight seasons with the Bills. In the offseason, he signed a one-year contract extension that keeps the eighth-year pro with the Bills through the 2015 season.

The Bills are 5-3 this season and tied for second place in the AFC East.

Ben Estes

 

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