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C.J. Spiller injury: Buffalo Bills runner readying for a return?

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Six weeks into a projected 12-week recovery period following clavicle surgery, it's sounding like C.J. Spiller might be on the verge of returning to practice for the Buffalo Bills.

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When we last saw C.J. Spiller in a Buffalo Bills uniform, he was being carted off the field with a broken collarbone, towel over his head, during a home win over the Minnesota Vikings. That was on October 19; he had surgery to repair the break on October 20, and today is at the six-week mark in his recovery.

Despite the fact that initial reports gave Spiller a 12-week recovery prognosis, however, it's sounding like the Bills are preparing for his potential return. Spiller is eligible to begin practicing with the Bills again this Wednesday, December 3 - and though head coach Doug Marrone wouldn't confirm that Spiller will practice this week, he left the door open.

"We’re hoping to see C.J. to start coming back," said Marrone (via BuffaloBills.com). "That designation is coming up."

If Spiller is able to return to practice this week - and again, halfway through a projected recovery period, that might come across as an unbelievably quick return - he still would not be eligible to play in a regular season game until the Bills' Week 16 trip to take on the Oakland Raiders.

In the six weeks that Spiller has been out of the lineup, both Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown have seen increased roles on offense - but the Bills have also struggled to run the football, averaging just 90.8 yards per game on the ground in that time frame. Spiller had not been having a productive season up until the point he was injured, but given the offense's struggles of late, they could use an infusion of big-play potential as soon as they can get it - provided, of course, that Spiller is healthy enough to play.