Bills look to C.J. Spiller to step up

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
2:21
PM ET
Is 2010 first-round pick C.J. Spiller ready to be the workhorse running back for the Buffalo Bills?

We are about to find out when Buffalo (5-5) travels to face the New York Jets (5-5) in a must-win game for both teams.

Spiller patiently waited two seasons for this opportunity. Now, it's his time to shine after starting tailback and Bills MVP Fred Jackson was ruled out of Sunday's game with a leg injury. Buffalo coach Chan Gailey didn't have a firm grasp on when Jackson would return. That means Spiller could get several starts under his belt.

Most scouts rated Spiller the best running back in the 2010 draft. Buffalo took Spiller with the No. 9 overall pick ahead of other tailbacks such as Ryan Mathews, Jahvid Best and Ben Tate.

But Jackson remained in the fold and continued his great play for the Bills. Jackson accounts for about 40 percent of Buffalo's offense and leads the team in in rushing (934 yards) and is second in receiving (442 yards). Jackson's huge role relegated Spiller to kick return duties and occasional opportunities at receiver and backup running back. Spiller has just 115 yards rushing and 82 yards receiving this season.

Now, Spiller will be a primary option for the Bills. The tailback spot plays a huge role in Buffalo's offense. Spiller will be expected to be successful running the ball as well as catching it out of the backfield.

With the Bills' playoff hopes hanging by a thread, they need Spiller now more than ever.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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