Not only do I wish I had better news for Fred Jackson owners, but I wish I had reliable news — something you could plan around, a clear recovery timeline. Three weeks, six weeks, eight weeks. Something unambiguous.
Instead, all we have is guessing.
The results of Jackson's MRI are in, and we've learned almost nothing at all.
Here's the scoop via the Buffalo News:
The MRI on Jackson's right knee was inconclusive, leaving speculation for how long he'll be out. Gailey said they'll be without him at least until October.
"It's not going to be three [weeks], but I don't think it's going to be eight," Gailey said. "It's probably somewhere there in between. Hopefully, sooner.
"The prognosis is decent."
So it's not the worst-case scenario, but it sure isn't the best.
Jackson injured his knee early in the Bills' humiliating loss to the Jets on Sunday, and all we can say for sure is that he won't be helping anyone in September. The initial report was that he'd sprained his lateral collateral ligament (LCL), but we don't know about any of his other CLs.
Based on Gailey's comments, we have to assume that F-Jax could be sidelined through Buffalo's Week 8 bye.
CJ Spiller will obviously be the primary ball-carrier in Jackson's absence, and he was terrific in the opener, the only bright spot for the Bills. Spiller rushed for 169 yards on just 14 carries and he caught two passes for 25. His 56-yard touchdown run (right here, around the 2:25 mark) was one of the day's better individual plays.
Spiller was a monster down the stretch in 2011, gaining 563 scrimmage yards and crossing the goal line five times over his final five games. He's a perfectly acceptable fill-in for Jackson, both in real-life and in fantasy. Spiller was the top scorer at his position over the final three weeks last year. If he happens to be available in your league, he's the priority pick-up today.
Tashard Choice took a pair of goal line carries on Sunday (unsuccessfully), so Spiller owners will have to deal with that irritant. But CJ will clearly see a significant workload, and we already know he can hugely productive. Make the add wherever possible.
Jackson owners, you've got trouble. Let's hope you've got solid back-up options on the roster already. I'm not making any low-ball offers for F-Jax, because I'm not interested in waiting an unknown period of weeks/months for a player who could return as a committee member.