It's only Wednesday, so it's a bad sign that Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey has already ruled running back Fred Jackson out of Sunday's must-win contest against the New York Jets. What's more, Gailey wouldn't confirm that Jackson will return by the end of the season.
Jackson was injured in the second half of Sunday's 35-8 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. Jackson described the injury as a bruise to his right calf, and clearly, he's in enough pain and hampered enough physically where the Bills' training staff could make a very early determination on his availability four days from now.
Obviously, this is a huge blow for Buffalo's staggering offense - perhaps the biggest blow it could incur, in fact. Jackson's 1,376 yards from scrimmage in 10 games represents 39.7 percent of the team's offensive output all season. That makes Jackson worth two-fifths of the league's No. 14-ranked offense. He's been the only player producing on that side of the ball during the team's recent slide. Jackson, once a legitimate MVP candidate, means more to this team than anyone.
On Sunday, it'll be C.J. Spiller's latest golden opportunity to make an impact - and he'll likely get to do it as the team's top tailback. This could get very interesting. It may also turn out very badly. Time will tell.