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Chan Gailey hopeful Fred Jackson will play for Bills

The Buffalo Bills have two dangeorus running backs in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Getting them in a game at the same time has been a puzzle for this team, but one will do for now.

Fred Jackson is close to playing Sunday against the New England Patriots after participating in most of Thursday's practice. Jackson has missed the past two games with a knee injury, but Bills coach Chan Gailey was impressed with his work this week.

"He was in there at the very end," Gailey told The Buffalo News. "I think if we make it through the next couple days and continue to improve, I think he'll have the opportunity to play."

Jackson told The Associated Press he had soreness and swelling in the knee before practice but insisted "I still want to play," although doctors have yet to clear him.

Spiller also took limited reps Thursday, but the shoulder injury that knocked him out of last Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns kept him from full participation.

"He didn't take a lot," Gailey said, "but he took a few and he got back into the swing of things."

The Bills have been chasing the Patriots for a decade-plus. New England has tossed Buffalo around at will, but these Bills aren't the pushovers of old. Gailey has quietly built one of the NFL's more explosive attacks, but there are lingering questions at quarterback. Not the case in the backfield, where the Jackson-Spiller duo might be the AFC's best -- when healthy.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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