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C.J. Spiller thanks Buffalo Bills after family tragedy

C.J. Spiller took a leave of absence from the Buffalo Bills last week to be with his family after his step-grandfather allegedly shot two men to death and wounded two others before killing himself in Union County, Fla.

Returning to Buffalo on Sunday, Spiller expressed his gratitude for the support of a "first-class organization."

"The way they send their support, their thoughts and prayers to everybody involved because if you don't know, my hometown is a 1,900 population," Spiller said, via the Bills' official website. "It's a small community, so when they wanted to send their condolences down to all of Union County, it speaks volumes about the organization that we have here."

Spiller specifically thanked coach Doug Marrone, CEO Russ Brandon, general manager Doug Whaley and veteran backfield mate Fred Jackson for their guidance and deft touch in a difficult time.

Although Spiller conceded that he has yet to put last week's tragedy behind him, the star running back now is concentrating on the Bills' season opener versus the New England Patriots.

"I understand that it is a tragic event that took place and it's going to take a while to cope with," Spiller explained, "but at the same time I can't forget the task and the goal and the dreams that we have here as a team and an organization. I wanted to be a part of that. I'll do everything I can to make sure I'm ready to go."

With Spiller returning and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel practicing again, the Bills' offense is getting back together just in time for Marrone's regular-season debut.

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