Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'Shocked' Bills RBs don Choice's number after release


In a somewhat surprising roster move, the Buffalo Bills cut third-string running back Tashard Choice Wednesday, opting instead to roll into Tampa Bay this weekend with rookie Ronnie Wingo.

And while there was no negative blowback from the players on the seemingly abrupt decision, Buffalo's starting tailback duo felt an homage was in order.

"We were just showing him that we were thinking about him today," veteran Fred Jackson, who donned Choice's number at practice, said Wednesday.

He and fellow back C.J. Spiller wore their former teammate's jersey digits to honor his work and commitment to the team through the past few years. Both were apparently stunned the six-year pro was let go at this point in the season.

"I was completely surprised," Jackson said. "He’s a guy that has been contributing, not only on special teams, but he played a lot in the games too. It was shocking, but he’s a tremendous player so I think he’ll bounce somewhere and get right back on his feet."

Coach Doug Marrone addressed Choice's release Wednesday via, saying he's trying to "better our roster" and "striving to get better," which will likely come through giving Wingo a shot to prove his worth with the playoffs a disappearing blip on the horizon.

Marrone also addressed the statement made by his two running backs following the move, saying it wasn't something he thought would be a hindrance moving forward.

"Our players have done that stuff before, so I wouldn't look too much into that," Marrone said. "I don't really take a close eye at that. I don't see it that way at all.

"I've never had a problem being on the same page with any captain, any player, anyone on this team. I have never had any issues with that."

In his two-plus seasons with the Bills, Choice appeared in 29 games, amassing 389 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He leaves Buffalo having averaged 3.7 yards per carry while routinely filling in for one their two starting backs, who collaboratively have missed a significant amount of time in the past few years with a myriad of injuries.

"We wish him well," Spiller said Wednesday. "I know him, I talked to him before he left; he was a little hurt but I know he’ll bounce back. Whoever picks him up, they’re getting a great player."

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