Running back C.J. Spiller has returned to the Buffalo Bills after going back home to Florida for personal reasons.
C.J. Spiller’s step-grandfather is alleged to have gone on a shooting spree against former co-workers on August 24 in Lake Butler, Fla., before taking his own life. The late Hubert Allen, Jr., 72, allegedly shot four men, two of whom died.
Spiller played in an NFL pre-season game against the Washington Redskins on the same day of this incident, but was excused immediately thereafter to be with his family.
C.J. Spiller led the team last season with 1,244 rushing yards and six touchdowns, adding another 459 yards and two touchdowns receiving. He was scheduled to resume practicing today.
Upon his return to the Bills, Spiller said he appreciated the support of the entire Bills organization during this difficult time for his family. He also said that “It was very emotional. If anybody in here has lost anyone close, I’m sure some of you have, a grandparent or something, you can understand or feel the emotions that I was going through. First, I just want to say I found out before the [Redskins] game, then my decision was to play. This organization, I mean this a first-class organization. The way they send their support, their thoughts and prayers to everybody involved because if you don’t know, my hometown is a 1,900 population. It’s a small community, so when they [the Bills] wanted to send their condolences down to all of Union County, it speaks volumes about the organization that we have here.”
Spiller was born in Lake Butler and attended Union County High School and Clemson University. The Bills drafted the former All-American in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012.
Although the grieving process is ongoing, Spiller noted that once he gets on the field, football becomes his main focus. “That’s how my whole family wanted it. That’s how my mom wanted me to do. She told me when I come back to make sure my focus is on getting ready for New England.”
The Bills host the Patriots next Sunday at 1 pm in an NFL season opener.