The Buffalo Bills are getting a giant boost just as the AFC wild card hunt heats up — the return of C.J. Spiller.
On Friday, the team placed Spiller back on the active roster, listing him as “Probable” for Sunday’s contest against the Oakland Raiders.
The Pro Bowl running back was injured in the team’s Week 7 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Spiller took his first carry of the game 53 yards and appeared as if he was headed for a touchdown, but instead was caught from behind and fell hard to the turf, breaking his clavicle.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) December 19, 2014
Running back Fred Jackson was hurt in the same game, leaving the Bills with running backs Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown.
Spiller had 287 yards on 69 carries this year, and added 14 catches for 109 yards. In an effort to get their playmaker on the field more often the Bills also had Spiller return kickoffs, the first time he had done that since his rookie year. Spiller took a return for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in a Week 2 win.
Though Spiller was having a down year, he remains one of the team’s big-play threats, and will now be facing a Raiders run defense ranked No. 25 in the league.
Spiller’s return means an important threat in the Bills offense is back for their most critical two-game stretch in a decade. If the Bills can win both games, they have a chance to return to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. A win in either of the two contests would give the Bills their first winning record since 2004.
Though the return of C.J. Spiller will be a giant boost to the Buffalo Bills, the team will need a strong finish and some help to reach the playoffs. They are currently in ninth place, and have head-to-head losses to the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. In the team’s season finale they must travel to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots, and have never won at Gillette Stadium.