The Buffalo Bills signed C.J. Spiller on Friday, and after two days of light practices for the rookie running back, nothing will be "light" about his workload from this point forward. NFL.com's Jason La Canfora reports that plans are in place to give Spiller repetitions with the first-team offense right away, and that the rookie is also viewed as the team's top choice as both a kick returner and punt returner.
It's no surprise that Spiller will get return duties early and often. The Clemson product was a sensational kick returner in college, scoring seven career touchdowns in that capacity - four in a senior season in which he averaged a whopping 33.1 yards per return. Spiller was less dynamic as a punt returner, averaging just 8.6 yards per punt return in his college career, albeit with one score. However, the fact that Leodis McKelvin has muffed four punts in the camp setting, and the fact that Roscoe Parrish is both dinged up and coming off a season in which he averaged just 5.5 yards per punt return, could be the reasoning behind the decision to try Spiller here, as well.
Spiller was always going to be a major part of the first-team offense in Chan Gailey's system; he'll have a chance, however, to take a much more significant chunk of carries away from the combination of projected starter Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch with these accelerated plans. There's little question that Spiller is the future of the position, but with plans to use him as a receiver, as well, the Bills - in the event that Spiller proves up to the task of handling these various responsibilities as a rookie - need to make sure they don't overwork their most talented player, particularly early in the season.