Monday, January 7, 2013

Jackson was at best '80 percent healthy' in 2012


Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson returned to the field in swift fashion after sustaining an LCL sprain in his right knee Week 1 of the 2012 season. He was expected to return no sooner than four weeks, with an eight-week hiatus within the realm of possiblity.

Jackson was back in three weeks, just in time for a game against New England Patriots that he "had" to play in. But his health was on pace with his return, which may have been premature.

“Eighty percent is a good number,” Jackson told regarding his health. “That was probably the best I felt all year was 80 percent healthy.” (photo: Alan Kotok, Flickr)

Jackson said he played off of "emotion" in the weeks after returning from the injury, which wasn't fully healed.

“Anytime as a captain you see your team struggling you want to get out there and give them an emotional boost,” he said. “.... It was something where I had to get back out there and give us a spark and get things turned around in the division. I wasn’t 100 percent and knew that going into it, but something needed to be done.”

Jackson wasn't his normal self the remainder of the year, and he missed Week 11 with concussion and was placed on Injured Reserve less than a month later after re-injuring the knee. He averaged a career-low 3.8 yards on the year.

Conversely, fellow tailback C.J. Spiller had a stellar season, gaining 6 yards a carry. With Spiller's rise, a coach that isn't as emotionally tied to Jackson as Chan Gailey was and the fact that Jackson is 31 years old and injury prone means he'll effectively take on a spell back role behind Spiller as 2013 rolls around.

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