ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is closing the season much like he opened it, facing questions about yet another knee injury.
"Tell me about it," Manuel said Wednesday after being ruled out from playing against Miami this weekend because of a swollen left knee. "When it happened in the game, I just said to myself: 'Is this really happening again?' "
Manuel is out after being hurt in a 27-20 win at Jacksonville on Sunday. That leaves journeyman backup Thad Lewis to make his fourth start of the season and second against the AFC East rival Dolphins.
Coach Doug Marrone said Manuel will miss the game Sunday, but should be healthy enough to play in the season finale against New England the following weekend.
It's the third time Manuel has been sidelined since training camp because of knee issues. The injury is to the same left knee that forced the first-round draft pick to miss the final two preseason games. He also missed four regular-season games because of a sprained right knee.
"It's adversity, and that's all you can really say about it," said Manuel, who missed only one start over his final two years at Florida State due to injury. "You obviously don't want to get the tag of being injury prone or, the worst word, 'soft.' And I know I'm not, but you still have to be smart with your body. You want to have a nice, long career."
The Bills (5-9) have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Dolphins (8-6), meanwhile, control their own playoff chances. Miami, which has won three straight and four of five, can clinch a berth by winning Sunday and having both Baltimore and Cincinnati lose.
Marrone made the decision to sit Manuel early into practice after the quarterback showed difficulty with his mobility inside the field house. Manuel was then sidelined once Marrone shifted the session outside on the slick turf at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Marrone said Manuel's lack of mobility and instability in the knee would have made it difficult to play. He was also concerned how ready Manuel might be with limited practice time.