Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller unofficially is questionable again heading into Sunday’s game against Kansas City.
Spiller, who has been dealing with a high-ankle sprain that kept him out of last week’s game, practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. But both he and coach Doug Marrone said it is uncertain whether he will return to face the Chiefs.
“I’m definitely not back to normal yet,” Spiller said.
Spiller said he did some cutting on the ankle, rather than just running in a straight line.
“I definitely tried to do a little bit today and it did pretty good for the most part,” he said.
Spiller tweaked his knee in Week Three against the Jets, then injured the ankle in Week Four against Baltimore. A high-ankle sprain sometimes takes up to four to six weeks to heal. The Baltimore game was five weeks ago, but last week’s New Orleans game was the first one Spiller sat out.
“I’m glad coach came out and said it was a high-ankle sprain,” Spiller said. “Pretty much I knew that’s what it was, but I couldn’t tell y’all that. It is a four- to six-week injury. … That’s four to six if you’re not playing. I’ve been playing on it for, what, four weeks. Having Sunday off, all that did was give it more rest time, give me more days to let it heal.
“It could take just that one game or it could take another game,” Spiller said. “It’s all about how I feel and how I react. I definitely can’t go back out there until I’m back to my normal self and doing what I’m accustomed to doing and what my teammates are accustomed to seeing me doing out there.”
Besides Thad Lewis, also sitting out practice were running back Fred Jackson (knee), defensive tackle Kyle Williams (Achilles) and receiver Stevie Johnson (hip).
Jackson, Williams and Johnson are expected to face the Chiefs.
“Getting better every day,” Johnson said. “I’m pretty sure I’ll be out there on Sunday.”
The Bills have named former Xerox information technologist Michael Lyons as director of analytics.
Lyons, 50, will be responsible for analyzing and developing strategic performance initiatives for all functions of the Bills organization, including football operations, business development and marketing. An East Aurora native, Lyons served Xerox for 26 years as a data analytics expert responsible for analyzing raw data and creating business solutions for the Rochester-based, multi-national document management company. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester.
“Mike is being brought in to assist us in a variety of ways,” said Russ Brandon, Bills president and chief executive officer. “Obviously the interesting part to fans is how he will assist football operations, salary cap management, salary cap valuations. We have a lot of pieces in place. Mike will help string those pearls together as he leads project teams in different departments.”
Brandon said the football-related research Lyons conducts will be under the direction of the members of the football department, such as Marrone, General Manager Doug Whaley, and Jim Overdorf, director of football operations.
“Some of that will come from Coach Marrone, some will come from Jim Overdorf, some will come from Doug Whaley, some will come from me, collectively, on projects we want to focus on heading into the future,” Brandon said. “He will also play a vital role in our business operations. But initially we will get him up and running relative to football analytics.”
Safety Jairus Byrd said he was taking a nap on Tuesday when the NFL trading deadline came and went and he was not dealt from Buffalo. Byrd was the subject of much trade speculation because he’s playing under the terms of a one-year franchise tag contract this season.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Byrd said of the fact no trade occurred. “I’m glad it’s over, behind us, now we can just work on winning games.”
Asked if he had heard any whispers of a possible trade from his agent, Byrd said, “I don’t want to get into that. I’m here. Let’s win.”
Is he glad to be staying in Buffalo?
“Yeah, let’s win,” he said.
Kansas City’s star running back, Jamaal Charles, did not practice due to a knee bruise.
“We’re going to let the thing settle down,” coach Andy Reid said. “I think he will be alright.”
The Bills signed 323-pound Stefan Charles off the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad and onto their 53-man roster. The 6-foot-5 Charles entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie this spring. He’s a native of Oshawa, Ont., who played college football in Canada with the University of Regina. In 22 career games with Regina, he had 19.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. He missed most of his fourth college season due to a hand injury. He was the No. 2 ranked Canadian prospect entering the 2013 Canadian Football League draft and was picked 10th overall. He’s 25.