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Fred Jackson to start vs. Patriots; C.J. Spiller will play

The Buffalo Bills will have both of their top running backs available for the AFC East matchup against the New England Patriots.

NFL Network's Stacey Dales reported Fred Jackson will start after missing the last two games with a sprained knee suffered in the season opener. He will wear a brace on the joint. The bigger surprise is an active C.J. Spiller seven days after he injured his shoulder. He was expected to miss at least one game.

The question is: How will coach Chan Gailey distribute the carries?

Jackson was the clear-cut No. 1 after he averaged a career-high 5.5 yards per carry before injury ended his 2011 after 10 games. Jackson was on pace for 1,494 yards.

Spiller, however, has muddied the waters in Jackson's absence. His 308 rushing yards are the fourth-most in the NFL and his four touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving) are tied for a league-high.

Spiller has been the league's most improved player three games into 2012.

Neither are 100 percent, so having both available could lessen the workload of each. And the Bills would love to keep Tom Brady and the Patriots offense on the sideline with a strong running effort.

UPDATE: Jackson started the game and gained 11 yards on the first play from scrimmage for the Bills.

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