Apparently, it was not bad enough that the Buffalo Bills were destroyed, 48-28, by the New York Jets Sunday. To add to the carnage of a team projected to be a contender this season, the Bills lost top running back Fred Jackson for at least three weeks to injury and receiver David Nelson for the remainder of the season.
An MRI exam completed on Jackson’s right knee revealed nothing conclusive, a source told ESPN. It likely will be 7-10 days before a timeline is established for his return but a source estimated that the running back will miss at least a month.
Jackson told Bills fans via his Twitter page that he’ll be back on the field as soon as possible.
He wrote: “Thanks for all the prayers all well wishes. I will get back on field ASAP! Keep Billieving in us, jus more work to do!!”
Nelson, meanwhile, tore the ACL in his right knee Sunday, a league source told ESPN. Before his injury, Nelson had two catches for 31 yards Sunday. He was the team’s second-leading receiver in 2011, finishing with 61 receptions for 658 yards and five touchdowns.
Jackson, who went on injured reserve last November with a broken right leg, went down with 11:07 left in the first half Sunday when he ran for 7 yards and was hit hard by LaRon Landry Jackson went down immediately and stayed down for a few moments while he was checked by trainers before walking on his own to the sideline.
C.J. Spiller replaced him and got the Bills on the scoreboard, zipping past a few missed tackles by Landry and Bart Scott and scooting into the end zone for a career-best 56-yard score. Spiller finished with a career-best 169 yards rushing.
Nelson was hurt early into the fourth quarter when he went down away from the play. After being helped off the field, he was spotted walking on the injured leg along the sideline.
Jackson finished 2011 with 934 yards and six touchdowns. He has rushed for at least 900 yards in each of the last three seasons, including 2009 when he had a career-best 1,062 rushing yards.
Both injuries are significant blows to the Bills, who entered the season with high expectations of their chances of becoming bona fide contenders.
Jackson was expected to provide Buffalo’s running attack a considerable one-two punch along with Spiller. Now, Buffalo have former Georgia Tech star Tashard Choice serving as a backup and on Tuesday they signing Johnny White, a 5-foot-10, 202-pound back who rushed for 38 yards on 12 carries last season for the Bills after being selected by Buffalo in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. He had been released by the team on Aug. 31.