December 03, 2014

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) With AC/DC's ''Back in Black'' playing over the loudspeakers inside the Buffalo Bills fieldhouse, running back C.J. Spiller returned to practice Wednesday for the first time in six weeks since breaking his collarbone.

''It was like a little kid in the candy story today for me,'' a beaming Spiller said. ''Sitting on the couch and not being able to run, and doing the machine workouts, that kind of got boring and old. So I was excited to see how I responded.''

The next step is determining whether he can resume playing before the end of the season.

Spiller remains on reserve/injured designated to return list, but was allowed back on the field after being activated by the Bills earlier in the day. The Bills have two weeks to determine whether to add Spiller to the active roster before they play at Oakland on Dec. 21, or place him on the season-ending injured reserve list.

Saying he's taking a day-at-a-time approach, Spiller said his collarbone felt fine, and he experienced no trouble carrying the ball in either arm.

''I'm not looking ahead,'' he said. ''Hopefully, everything stays on schedule.''

Coach Doug Marrone said it's premature to make any determination.

''He's just out there, which is a good sign,'' Marrone said.

Spiller has been out since being hurt in the second quarter of a 17-16 win against Minnesota on Oct. 19. He was tripped up from behind during a 53-yard run and fell awkwardly on his left shoulder while tumbling out of bounds.

He had surgery the following day.

Spiller spent his time recovering and rehabbing with the team in Orchard Park. After initially being limited to lower-body work to keep his legs fresh and cardio-therapy, Spiller began lifting weights about two weeks ago.

The chances of Spiller playing again this season are partially linked to whether the Bills remain in the playoff hunt. At 7-5, Buffalo is in the thick of a jumbled playoff AFC playoff picture but faces a pair of daunting tests over the next two weeks.

The Bills play at the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos (9-3) on Sunday, before returning home to face current NFC North-leading Green Bay (9-3).

Spiller wants to play no matter what happens.

''I'm a football player. I get paid to play,'' he said. ''If we get to that roadblock, we'll address it then.''

The injury sidetracked what had already been an inconsistent season for Spiller, who was experiencing difficulty getting steady playing time. The 2010 first-round pick was limited to 287 yards rushing on 69 carries through six-plus games.

Spiller, who finished second in the NFL in averaging 6-yards per carry in 2012, is completing the final year of his contract and eligible to become a free agent this offseason.

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