C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson were both hurt for the Buffalo Bills in Sunday’s contest against the Minnesota Vikings, leaving the team with just one running back.
Both Spiller and Jackson were carted off in the first half after suffering injuries just a few minutes apart. Jackson injured his groin during a short third down run, while Spiller was pulled down from behind after a long run, injuring his left shoulder.
The injuries are a blow to a team looking to rely heavily on its running game against Minnesota. The Bills have tried to take on a run-first mentality this year, leaning heavily on Jackson, the league’s oldest running back.
The 33-year-old Jackson has 52 rushes for 227 yards through six games this year. An important part of the team’s passing game, Jackson also has 30 catches for 245 yards and a touchdown.
Spiller has been used less frequently, and has been less effective, but is still an important weapon for the Bills.
Spiller was hurt on just his first carry of the game. He took a sweep for 53 yards, appearing that he might go for a touchdown, but instead was pulled down from behind at the 15-yard line. He remained on the ground for several minutes clutching his shoulder before being carted off.
The Bills are now forced to turn to Anthony Dixon, largely a special teams player, who has seen limited touches on offense this year. The team’s fourth running back, Bryce Brown, has not yet been active this season. The team traded a fourth round pick to acquire him in the offseason.
The team has no long-term projections yet on the injuries to Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Bills went into the first half trailing the Vikings 13-10.