Bills RB Fred Jackson cleared to play vs. Patriots
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson has the team doctor's clearance to play this weekend.
Jackson received the OK Friday, before taking part in his third straight practice since spraining his right knee in a season-opening loss at the New York Jets on Sept. 9.
"[The doctor] said as long as I feel like I'm capable of going, he's going to support what I do," Jackson said.
Despite feeling some soreness, Jackson believes he'll be "ready to go" Sunday, when the Bills (2-1) host AFC East rival New England (1-2).
Jackson is listed questionable on the injury report, giving him a 50 per cent chance of playing. Running back C.J. Spiller (left shoulder) practiced for a second straight day, and is also listed questionable after he was hurt in a 24-14 win at Cleveland last weekend.
Coach Chan Gailey said both have a "legitimate chance" of playing, and was particularly surprised by how quickly Spiller's shoulder has improved. Spiller didn't speak to reporters except to give a thumbs-up sign when asked how he felt while making his way to the trainer's room following practice.
Gailey said Spiller's potential of playing leaves open the opportunity for the Bills to use their wildcat formations.
Jackson's recovery is ahead of schedule after he was initially expected to miss at least three weeks. Jackson, however, has kept open the possibility of playing against New England because the Patriots are a division rival. He added he's not afraid of potentially aggravating the injury.
"There's always going to be a risk, you always have to be aware of that," Jackson said. "But that's part of the game. That could happen this week, it could happen Week 13. So just go out there and play."
On a separate matter, special teams co-ordinator Bruce DeHaven had his first opportunity Friday to discuss the Bills' decision to cut punter Brian Moorman.
DeHaven declined to go into specifics on what led to the 12-year team veteran being released Tuesday. He instead referred to general manager Buddy Nix, who said the team saw an opportunity to improve the position by signing rookie Shawn Powell, who had been one of the Bills' final cuts before the start of the season.
"I don't want to say anything that would denigrate Brian in any way," DeHaven said. "He had a great career here. He's got a great reputation in town. The move has been made and I don't want to say anything that might be misconstrued as something negative about Brian, to be honest with you."
Moorman's agent, Ron Raccuia, questioned DeHaven's comments.
In a text sent to The Associated Press, Raccuia wrote: "Now isn't the time to discuss Bruce DeHaven, but it's nice to hear that he's done saying things to denigrate Brian."
Raccuia didn't elaborate further.
Moorman and DeHaven never developed a close relationship during their two-plus seasons together in Buffalo.
DeHaven said he wasn't aware of any rift between him and the player.
"I can't speak for Brian, but I know if there was anything there between him and I, it didn't come from me," DeHaven said.
Moorman's departure came as a surprise to his teammates and Bills fans. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Moorman was a team captain, respected leader and popular in the community because of his work with charitable organizations. Moorman has since signed with Dallas.
Moorman's numbers have slipped in part because DeHaven favours more directional punts to limit returns.
DeHaven said he was pleased with three of Moorman's six punts that sailed out of bounds against Cleveland.