Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- After a breakout season in 2012, the expectations were immense for Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller. With a new run-heavy approach on offense, some even thought Spiller was poised to break 2,000 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Nine games into the 2013 campaign, a slow start and a high ankle sprain has severely limited Spiller's production. Through nine games last season, Spiller had 154 more rushing yards, 12 more receptions, 222 more receiving yards and four more touchdowns than he does at this point of the regular season.
The Bills finally gave the running back a week to rest his high ankle sprain during the Week Eight contest in New Orleans before quickly getting back to work this past weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs. The result? One of Spiller's best games of the season.
"It felt pretty good. Wasn't really no bad setback or anything like that," Spiller said coming off of his 12 carry, 116 yard performance. "Woke up Monday and the legs were a little tired because they haven't been conditioned. But for the most part, the ankle felt pretty good coming off the most work it's done since Week Four."
Head coach Doug Marrone feels so good about Spiller's injured ankle that he removed the running back from the injury report completely. The running back still had to leave the game a few different times with a limp to the sidelines against Kansas City, however.
"Just little twinges here and there," Spiller said. "The good thing is that it calms down a whole lot quicker than what it had done in the past. That's the encouraging part. But for the most part, I thought Sunday was a great day. Still not where I wanted to be, so we'll just continue to do the things that we need to do."
How close might Spiller be to being where he wants injury wise? He tried to play it close to the vest, but hinted it's on the way.
"Very close, possibly. I don't want to say. But I'm close."
Spiller and Fred Jackson will be up against a Pittsburgh run defense that allows 131.2 yards per game, ranking 31st in the league in that respect. The two teams square off on Sunday at 1 pm.