Fred Jackson shows grit after injury scare

MIAMI -- Fred Jackson lied face-first in front of his own bench, his knee having bent awkwardly as he was tackled near the sideline.

The 60,592 fans who had just settled into Sun Life Stadium for the Buffalo Bills' 23-21 victory against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday all had the same reaction: a collective gasp as the video board played a replay of the injury.

While on the ground, the 32-year old team captain was quickly surrounded by medical staff, fellow running backs C.J. Spiller and Tashard Choice, and head coach Doug Marrone.

"I was scared," Marrone said. "I saw it happen. He went down in a quick movement. At first, I was concerned."

The Bills were concerned enough to bring out the cart for Jackson, but after a few moments, Jackson was able to get to his feet and return to the bench, with the cart waved off.

Jackson, who said he aggravated a sprained MCL in his left knee on the play, was back on the field for the next drive, later capping it off with a 3-yard touchdown.

"He's a legend. He's a real life legend. I don't even know what to say," receiver Stevie Johnson said. "He got injured, came back. His leg was messed up and he still was running for first downs and touchdowns."

One of those first downs was a key third-and-4 run late in the fourth quarter, extending a Bills drive to set-up a go-ahead field goal.

"We needed it," he said. "We had the opportunity to ice the game. You play for those types of moments and coach called my number. It was a great team effort on the offensive side of the ball."

Jackson finished with just 36 yards on 11 carries, but no statistic would capture the toughness he displayed in the game.

"A lot of times people talk about age and years," Marrone said. "But Fred, shoot, he's as strong and tough as any rookie we have."

Going forward, Jackson falls into the same category as Spiller, who has a nagging ankle injury. The season is long, the bye week is a month away, and both players will need to fight through it.

"It's just going to be something I have to deal with," Jackson said. "I don't know how long, but it's going to be something I have to manage and I hope I can keep it under control."