What's next for Bills and Fred Jackson?

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
7:52
PM ET
The Buffalo Bills put starting running back Fred Jackson on injured reserve Wednesday after he suffered a broken bone in his right leg.

Here are some thoughts Jackson's injury and future:
  • I would be surprised if Buffalo recovers from this. Jackson was the team's MVP and accounted for about 40 percent of the team's offense. You can't just plug someone in instantly and replace that kind of production this late in the season. On top of that, the Bills have lost three in a row -- all blowouts -- during their ugliest stretch of the season. I don't expect Buffalo to beat the New York Jets on Sunday. But even if the Bills prevail, they don't have enough healthy bodies and firepower to sustain a run to get into the postseason.
  • The injury turned out to be much worse than expected. Jackson said after Sunday's loss in Miami that it was just a bruise on his calf — and he was walking without crutches in the locker room after the game. After being checked out in Buffalo, it turns out he had suffered a broken bone in his lower leg.
  • Finally, I'm curious to see how Buffalo now handles Jackson's contract, which has one year remaining. The Bills made a promise that Jackson will be taken care of. It is the right thing to do and Buffalo will honor its word. But you wonder if this season-ending injury, in addition to Jackson's age (30), has some bearing on the negotiations. Jackson was on pace to set a new career high in rushing yards but finished with 934 yards. He's also a running back coming off a broken leg. If former first-round pick C.J. Spiller plays well in the Bills' final six games, how big a raise will Buffalo be willing to offer Jackson?

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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