Bills RB Fred Jackson ruled out with concussion


Bills RB Fred Jackson ruled out with concussion

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Bills running back Fred Jackson is out with a concussion, and there's at least one teammate who's unhappy with how Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes celebrated after delivering the blow.

``Yeah, he'll get his,'' backup running back Tashard Choice said on Monday. ``I don't like to see nobody get hurt, and then on top of that (Spikes) making fun of him while he's on the ground.''

Choice was referring to how Spikes flexed his arm and then mouthed off at Jackson and several Bills players while the running back was down late in the fourth quarter of a 37-31 loss at New England.

``You know it's cool to make a big hit,'' Choice said. ``But it's not cool when somebody's down like that.''

Coach Chan Gailey announced Jackson was diagnosed with a concussion and will not play Thursday, when the Bills (3-6) host AFC East rival Miami (4-5).

Gailey said Jackson began not feeling well during the team's flight home. Tests taken Monday morning confirmed that he had sustained a concussion.

Jackson was hurt at the end of a 9-yard catch and run, when he lowered his head while being swarmed by three New England defenders. Spikes got to Jackson first, lunging into the running back with his left forearm striking Jackson directly on the helmet.

Jackson fell immediately to the ground and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by center Eric Wood.

After being treated by trainers, Jackson appeared woozy while making his way to the sideline. He did not return, though the Bills final drive ended four plays later when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass intended for rookie T.J. Graham, was intercepted by safety Devin McCourty.

Spikes was not penalized on the play. He was penalized for roughing the passer earlier in the game, when he lunged headfirst into Fitzpatrick with enough force to knock off the quarterback's helmet.

Fitzpatrick took issue with Spikes following the game.

``I think he's a punk at times,'' Fitzpatrick had said. ``He's not high on my list.''

Spikes was not available because Patriots players have two days off.

Updating the status of other injured players, Gailey said defensive end Chris Kelsay has a 50-50 shot of playing Thursday after a neck injury forced him to miss the game against New England. Gailey added, defensive end Mark Anderson had surgery last week to repair a left knee injury, and will miss at least two more weeks.

Jackson's injury means the Bills will be without half of their formidable one-two punch of a running attack that includes co-starter C.J. Spiller.

The two have combined for 1,410 yards from scrimmage - nearly half of Buffalo's 3,228 yards offense - and accounted for nine of 24 touchdowns scored on offense. Buffalo ranks sixth in the NFL in yards rushing and second in averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

Jackson has already missed two games after spraining his right knee in a season-opening 48-28 loss to the New York Jets. Spiller also capably filled in last year in a full-time role after Jackson missed the final six games with a broken bone in his right leg.

``As an offense, we're definitely going to miss him because he brings so much to our team,'' said Spiller, who leads NFL running backs in average 7.3 yards a carry. ``But this is familiar territory for me.''

The Bills have been careful to limit Spiller's carries even when Jackson's been out. His career high came last year, when he had 19 carries in a 28-24 loss to the New York Jets.

``I'm not worried about how many times I touch it. I'm just pretty much, from here on out, just worried about wins,'' Spiller said. ``I'm just trying to help my team win so we can experience what it feels like to play in the playoffs.''

That's a long-shot at best for a Bills team that's lost five of six and finds itself in jeopardy of extending its postseason drought to 13 seasons.

Gailey remains upbeat about the Bills chances to make a run, and is encouraged after seeing signs of the team playing better in its past two games, including a 21-9 loss at Houston two weeks ago.

``We did not win, but we played fairly well against two of the best teams in the AFC,'' Gailey said. ``And I think if we will continue to get better that will help us with the future and the rest of our schedule.''

NOTES: The Bills announced the game Thursday is a sellout. The team said at least 10,000 tickets are available for each of its final three games at Ralph Wilson Stadium this season. ... The Bills signed DB Delano Howell to their practice squad three days after he was released from the team's active roster. ... The Bills 35 first downs against New England set a team record.


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Wizards take out Pacers to earn important advantage in playoff seeding

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Wizards take out Pacers to earn important advantage in playoff seeding

The Washington Wizards beat the Indiana Pacers 109-102 on Saturday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Important victory: Saturday night's game between the Wizards and Pacers had several layers of playoff implications on the line and it was Washington who rose to the occasion and showed the urgency commensurate for the stakes.

By beating the Pacers, the Wizards locked up the season series between the teams, two games to one. That gives them the tiebreaker for playoff seeding if the teams finish the regular season with the same record. That could very well prove paramount. As of now, the Wizards and Pacers have the same record (40-30) with 12 games to go.

The season series advantage means the Wizards are above the Pacers in the standings despite having the same record. They moved into fourth place in the East with the win and the Cavs slotted back into third. There will likely be a lot more movement as these next few weeks play out, but the Wizards now hold an important edge over the Pacers.

The win also pushed the Wizards to 14-8 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. Wall could return this coming week or the week after and the Wizards have more than stayed afloat during his absence.

The Wizards' magic number to make the playoffs is now just five. 


Sato went off: The Wizards jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter mostly thanks to a hot start from Tomas Satoransky, who scored the Wizards' first five points and had 10 by the end of the first quarter.

Satoransky's floater was automatic. He dropped in several in the lane from all different angles. Satoransky was practicing the same shots, floaters off each foot, the day before in practice and it paid off.

It was a well-rounded night for Satoransky. In addition to his 12 points, he also had eight assists and five rebounds, including this one to find Marcin Gortat for the dunk:

Gortat came up big: Speaking of Gortat, the Wizards' big man had one of his best games of the season. He poured in 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists a steal and a block. Gortat shot 6-for-8, consistently having his way on the block.

The Pacers were without two of their best big men in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis and Gortat took advantage of that. He was way too much for Al Jefferson.

The Pacers tried to roll with small-ball lineups using Trevor Booker and Thaddeus Young as their big men, but it didn't work. Gortat was too big for them and his teammates did a great job finding him for open looks.

Gortat's 18 points were his most since Jan. 3 when he had a season-high 21 against the Knicks. Lately, Gortat has seen his minutes dwindle with the increased role for Ian Mahinmi, so Saturday night must have felt good for the Polish Machine.


Bojan held in check: Bojan Bogdanovic, who spent part of last season with the Wizards, was a major factor in the first two matchups between Washington and the Pacers this season. He had 20 points in one game and 29 in another, each time getting hot from three.

The Wizards, though, made some adjustments in this one and held Bo Buckets in check. He didn't make his first shot until nearly the midway point of the second quarter and it was only because Kelly Oubre, Jr. (16 points, 18 minutes) lost his balance. Oubre stumbled backward, giving Bogdanovic a split second to get off an open three. That was the only shot he hit in the first half as he began the game 1-for-4.

Oubre did a good job harrassing Bogdanovic and not giving him space on the premiter. Otto Porter (eight points) and Bradley Beal (19 points) did as well. Both Porter and Beal stripped the ball out of Bogdanovic's hands early in the third quarter. Midway through the third, Bogdanovic got past Porter only to be called for an offensive foul on a collision with Gortat. All in all, it was a frustrating night for Bogdanovic, who had 11 points, three below his season average.

Bogdanovic is a very good shooter and when he's hot can alter games. But when you take his shots away, there's not much else he can do to hurt you. The Wizards did a good job taking away his strengths and making others beat them. Not having to focus on Turner and Sabonis certainly helped. 

Sessions is still in the rotation: It turns out those five games for Ramon Sessions over the course of his second 10-day contract weren't just an audition. Now that he has been signed for the rest of the season, Sessions is still getting the nod over Tim Frazier as the backup point guard.

Sessions logged 18 minutes and even played alongside Satoransky and Jodie Meeks in the fourth quarter. The Wizards had a sizable lead and head coach Scott Brooks decided to experiment with his lineups. That is something to keep in mind for when Wall comes back. Once he does, Sessions will be the third point guard and likely rarely see the court. But if they see something they like about him at shooting guard, that could open the door for more playing time possibilities.

Up next: The Wizards have three off-days before their next game. That will be on Wednesday when they head to San Antonio to face the Spurs. Tipoff is at 9:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Pregame coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. with Wizards HangTime.

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Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon


Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon

The Redskins will be taking visits from two former NFC East foes in the next few days.

Former Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick will visit Redskins Park on Monday. Scandrick, 31, has been with Dallas since them made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. He has eight career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

The Cowboys released Scandrick on Friday in a salary cap move. The Redskins would be attracted to Scandrick’s versatility. He can play either side at corner and, of particular interest to the Redskins, in the slot. That is a position of concern for Washington since they traded Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs as part of the deal for quarterback Alex Smith.

The Redskins have been trying to get former Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to sign for the past several days, but they can’t come together on money. Scandrick could be a fallback if they need one.

The other visitor will be former Giants defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins, per John Keim of ESPN. Hankins, 25, was a second-round draft pick and played his first four years in New York. Last year he moved on to the Colts as a free agent. They are changing their defense and decided to release Hankins after paying him $10 million last year.

Hankins could bolster a defensive line that still needs young talent. It’s not known if he would be considered a nose tackle in the Redskins’ scheme. The Giants ran a 4-3 defense and in the Colts’ 3-4 he was used as an end.

The Redskins had former Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in for a visit earlier this week, but he decided to sign with the Packers.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.