After a week in which concussions were in the injury spotlight, one of the players affected has been ruled out for Thursday night's game. Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson will not play against the Miami Dolphins. Jackson was injured late in Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, and the Bills had already ruled him out for Week 11 by Monday. As is the case with these injuries, there is no ability to project when Jackson will return to play. One day at a time.
In the meantime, here are three other players who might be of interest on Thursday night.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills, shoulder (P): Spiller's shoulder injury dates back to Week 3. At the time, the injury appeared serious and Spiller was even carted to the locker room. It turned out to be less severe than originally thought (a sprained left AC joint) and Spiller was able to make it back to play the following week. Given the combination of injuries to Spiller and Jackson, the two have found themselves in a time-share situation. Until now. With Jackson out, head coach Chan Gailey has already indicated Spiller will get "lots of opportunities this week," according to the Bills' official website. Gailey noted they are not afraid to have Spiller carry the ball 25 to 30 times, if that's what it takes to win. Spiller's shoulder injury appears to be largely a thing of the past, but the Bills continue to list him on the injury report (as probable), perhaps as a result of their league-office fine earlier this season for failure to disclose defensive end Mario Williams' wrist injury. Expect Spiller to get plenty of action tonight.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins, knee (P): Hartline has been on the injury report for the past couple of weeks, initially with a groin injury but now listed because of a knee ailment. He has not missed any time, however, and in the first game after appearing on the injury report, he racked up his third-highest yardage total of the season. The probable tag indicates his status is not in doubt for Thursday's game and there is no reason to think he'll be limited.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Miami Dolphins, knee (Q): Despite the questionable tag, Gaffney is expected to play, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Gaffney has only been with the team since October and has had limited contributions thus far. Nonetheless, it appears he will be available Thursday night, although it would be wise to check the pregame inactive report.