5:56pm: A source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (via Twitter) that Spiller will miss the rest of the season.
4:53pm: Spiller will have surgery on Monday, per Adam Caplan of ESPN (link via Caplan’s colleague, Mike Rodak). Bills head coach Doug Marrone says Spiller will be out “an undetermined [amount] of time.”
2:17pm: The Bills have had success in recent years by employing a two-headed approach at running back, utilizing the talents of both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. The duo may have played together for the final time in 2014, however, as both RBs were injured during the second quarter of today’s game against the Vikings. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the initial diagnosis for Spiller is a broken collarbone. Jackson will have an MRI tomorrow to determine the severity of his injury, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (Twitter link) hears the ailment is “serious.”
It’s unclear how much time Spiller will miss, as clavicle injuries often result in varying degrees of absence. For example, Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone during Week 9 of the 2013 season, and was able to return for the season finale and playoffs. However, Tony Romo suffered the same injury in mid-October of 2010, and missed the remainder of the year. I would guess that Buffalo’s performance will play some role in a potential Spiller return — if the Bills are out of the playoff picture if and when Spiller gets healthy, there’s probably no reason to bring him back.
Spiller, 27, carries a $5.917MM cap charge in what is effectively the final season his rookie contract. The Clemson product has a 2015 player option that will pay him $2.197MM in base salary. While it had seemed readily obvious that he would void that year, it’s fair to wonder if this injury might force him to reconsider. Spiller had been the subject of trade rumors as of late, given that he was seemingly being phased out of the Bills’ offense; clearly, he won’t be dealt now. For the season, the 2010 first-rounder has 68 carries for 234 yards, along with one kick return touchdown.
The Bills are down to one healthy running back — fifth-year player Anthony Dixon — in addition to fullback Frank Summers. Bryce Brown, who was acquired from the Eagles during the offseason, was a healthy scratch for today’s game; he figures to be active next week. Buffalo could look to add an external option either through free agency or trade — the trade deadline is October 28.