<
>

C.J. Spiller: Ankle 'whole lot better'

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller says his ankle injury is improving despite comments from coach Doug Marrone earlier Wednesday to the contrary.

When asked whether Spiller's sprained ankle is healthier than at this point last week, Marrone said, "Probably not as well."

A few minutes later, Spiller told a different story to reporters in the locker room.

"A whole lot better. Ten times better," Spiller said when asked the same question. "There's a couple more hurdles that I need to pass over before I'm 100 percent. I definitely feel a whole lot better today than I did last Wednesday."

When asked about Marrone's opinion, Spiller said he knows more about his body than Marrone or anyone else does.

"Nobody knows my body like me," Spiller said. "He can only observe what he sees on the film tape. But I'm telling you that I feel better. I know my body better than anybody on this team or on Earth. I know how I feel."

Marrone said Monday that "there is going to be a setback" whenever Spiller plays in a game. He has played sparingly in each of the past three games on the injured ankle, rushing for just 11 yards on six carries Sunday.

"At the end of the day, we have to make a good decision and see where he's at, because we just need to him to get over this hump. We haven't been able to do that for three weeks," Marrone said Wednesday.

Spiller said he isn't willing to sit out on his own.

"Can I come to terms of saying I can't play? No. Because I played with turf toe my senior year [at Clemson]," he said. "I'm not going to let no little ankle injury stop me. I think playing with turf toe is more painful than playing on this ankle sprain, to me, and I played that whole season with that."

Even with the injury, Spiller rushed for a 54-yard touchdown in Week 5 in Cleveland, a play that Marrone cited Monday in defending the decision to play Spiller the past three games.

"My goal is, I want to be out there with my teammates," Spiller said. "[I don't] want to sit here and say, 'Oh no, I don't want to play.' That's not in my DNA. That's not how I was raised. You go out there and compete. You're going to be banged up. And that's how you have to look at it."

Spiller partially admitted, however, that playing each week is hampering his recovery from the injury.

"I haven't had a game off, so it would be hard for me to sit here and say, 'Yeah, I'd benefit,'" he said. "It's an ankle sprain, so obviously it won't take the pounding on Sunday if I don't play, but who knows? I haven't sat out a game."

Spiller sat out Wednesday's practice, as did veteran Fred Jackson, who aggravated a knee injury in Sunday's win against the Miami Dolphins.

"I'm fine. I'll be ready to go Sunday," Jackson said. "It's just a day off to kind of get some rest. It's just going sore, something that I dealt with all of last year, being sore with the MCL and LCL. We'll manage it, doing rehab and stuff like that and see where it goes."

The Bills visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.