Although Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone stated that the team is planning on starting undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel at quarterback for Week 1 against the New England Patriots, it is clear that the Bills are hoping that E.J. Manuel can be healthy enough to start and avoid a very poor situation. The Patriots could have an easy game ahead of them if Tuel is thrown into the fire, because that’s not even mentioning the fact that No. 1 corner Stephon Gilmore needs wrist surgery.
E.J. Manuel, according to Marrone via the Buffalo News, will need to practice by Wednesday of next week in order to suit up and play against the New England Patriots for the Week 1 opener. There is no sense in the Bills rushing their quarterback of the future too soon just for one game, but the Bills don’t want to go up against their AFC East rivals to the north with a UDFA at QB.
Here’s what Marrone told Tim Graham, “If the doctor said, ‘You’re not going to get him on that field until Thursday, and then he’ll be ready to play on Sunday,’ I would be concerned about doing that. If they said, ‘Hey, we can get him on that field on Monday or Wednesday, I would see how he played and make a decision.”
Marrone added that Manuel wants to play, but he definitely knows that Manuel isn’t ready at all. He also stated that the Bills will look to see if Manuel shows signs of rust before the game, and this is definitely a close situation to monitor. E.J. Manuel hasn’t been throwing yet, so next Wednesday will have to be the target for Manuel. The Bills want to see Manuel practice for a few days before giving the green light, and this is the right way to manage a first-round rookie quarterback.