BY DAN BEGNOCHE
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson has been accustomed to the starting role for three years now, and he's amassed nearly 1,000 yards in each of those years.
But after a second trip to the injury list this season and the breakout performance of fellow back C.J. Spiller, he now has to become accustomed to a new role: backup.
“Any player in this league wants to be on the field. This is about doing what we can to help the team win,” Jackson told reporters Wednesday. “That is what I am going to try and do when I am called upon I will try and make plays.
"I will continue to support my team. While C.J. is out there I will let him know what I am seeing and continue to support him.” (photo: Alan Kotok, Flickr)
Coach Chan Gailey commented about the starting tailback role Monday, saying Spiller would see the majority of the workload, with something in the ballpark of a 60/40 or 65/35 split.
It's not that Jackson hasn't shown he can hang. In just over 80 attempts, he's accumulated more than 300 yards, nearly 4 yards a carry, with three touchdowns, according to ESPN.com. His reception skills have been stout as well, averaging more than 7 yards a grab and tallying a touchdown there, too.
But when your teammate leads all running backs in yards per attempt and is second in rushes of 20 yards or more, it's hard to argue the No. 1 spot.
“It is a different role for me, but I am going to go out and do what I am asked to do,” Jackson said. “That’s going out there and being in pass protection, with the carries I do get try and make the most of those. Try and help us get wins anyway I can."
Despite his drop on the depth chart, Jackson should have plenty of chances Sunday against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has allowed 136 yards per game and 14 touchdowns to opponents on the ground. In his career, Jackson has averaged more than 5 yards a carry against AFC South teams, according to Pro Football Reference. In those 10 games, however, he has yet to tally a rushing touchdown.
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily