Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- Since Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller injured his ankle against the Baltimore Ravens in Week Four, it's been a constant debate as to whether the Bills should rest him one of these weeks in an effort to get him near 100-percent health.
For the past three games, the Bills have declined that option. They've used Spiller only sparingly (20.7-percent of offensive snaps) and his level of effectiveness has gone down dramatically.
However, the Bills may be more inclined to get their former top ten pick some more time to heal his wounded ankle. According to a league source, Spiller's chances of playing Sunday against the New Orleans Saints are "extremely slim."
On Wednesday, the Bills acknowledged that the ankle may not be progressing the way they wanted it to. A day later with another practice missed, they confirmed that line of thinking once again.
"He doesn't feel as good in my opinion -- he might say it -- but as far as how he's looked," head coach Doug Marrone said Thursday.
Even the optimistic Spiller who had told reporters a day ago that his ankle felt "ten times better" conceded that he wasn't his normal self.
"Everybody understands, you can see it on tape," he said. "A big part of my game is my quickness and my speed and I'm just not getting that explosion, that acceleration that I want. I mean I'm able to run, but not like I'm capable of."
Now with only one day of practice left before the Bills take on the Saints, Buffalo -- at least on the surface -- is seriously contemplating whether or not to rest Spiller for a game.
"He wants to go, but we've got to make a decision," Marrone said. "A tough decision."
While Spiller said he was able to do some of the inidividual drills without a limp today, he admitted that he'll understand why he might sit out this week if that's what the team elects to do.
"He's got to do what's best for me, and also what's best for this team. And what's best for this team is going out there and trying to get wins and putting the healthiest guys out there," the running back remarked. "So if we decided to rest it, like I said, I'll just back the coach and we'll rest and that'll just give us more time to do more treatment and come next week see how it feels."
Through the past three weeks, Spiller only didn't participate in the first two days of the practice week during the shortened timeframe ahead of the Cleveland contest on Thursday night. Each of the past two weeks, he has been at least a limited participant on the Thursday before the game.