Bills QBs Manuel, Lewis set to return to practice

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm •  Published: November 4, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills are starting to get their injured quarterbacks back.

And it is giving coach Doug Marrone more options to improve the Bills' offense.

A day after watching undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel throw two interceptions in a 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Marrone on Monday was preparing to welcome back his two most experienced quarterbacks to practice.

Rookie first-round pick EJ Manuel is cleared to play after missing four weeks with a sprained right knee. And Manuel's replacement, Thad Lewis, will be back after missing one game with bruised ribs.

Marrone wants to see how both perform in practice before determining which one starts Sunday, when the Bills (3-6) travel to play the Steelers (2-6). He didn't rule out either, but was particularly cautious in assessing Manuel's chances of playing.

"We feel really good, but we've got to be careful, though. Let's make sure," Marrone said. "In the back of my mind, I'm thinking to make sure he's 110 percent and we're not putting a player out there that can jeopardize himself."

Manuel called himself ready to play, which is something he's already made sure to stress to Marrone.

"He knows where I'm at," Manuel said, speaking to reporters for the first time since being hurt. "It's up to coach. I know I'm going to be out there ready to go to practice and get back to work with the guys."

Manuel spent last week throwing passes to receivers before and after practice. He stepped up that process during pregame warm-ups Sunday.

"It's feeling a lot better," Manuel said. "Definitely looking forward to getting into practice full course and taking as many reps as coach allows me to get."

Lewis, meanwhile, threw passes on Monday for the first time since being hurt in a 35-17 loss at New Orleans on Oct. 27.

Buffalo also made a move at quarterback by releasing Matt Flynn, three weeks after signing the sixth-year player in free agency.

The Bills' depth at quarterback has been unsettled since Manuel was hurt in a 37-24 loss at Cleveland on Oct. 3.

After Tuel struggled in replacing Manuel against the Browns, the Bills turned to Lewis by promoting him from their practice squad.

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