Chris Brown of the Bills' official website wrote Monday that there "may" be an open competition in training camp for the job of kick returner. He lists five candidates vying for the role, and one of them is starting running back C.J. Spiller .
"He was a dynamic return man in his college days at Clemson and saw some return work early in his career with the Bills," Brown wrote about Spiller. "Now that opportunity may resurface. Spiller was returning kicks in practice in the spring, and at least for now it appears he's part of the competition."
Spiller hasn't returned a kickoff since 2011.
Spiller did a fine job on kick returns as a rookie in 2010, but those were days when he wasn't used as often offensively.
The Bills are asking for a lot more out of Spiller this season. He is at the top of their RB depth chart and expected to take on more than the 234 touches he handled last season. I understand how enticing it is to put Spiller's speed back there and let him operate with a running start out of the end zone. But in doing so, the Bills are increasing his injury risk, and he is too important for Buffalo to waste him in this capacity. Darren McFadden probably thinks this is a ridiculous idea.
Interestingly, first-round rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins is also on Brown's list. In the end, I think the Bills will decide to keep both of them solely on offense.