The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be starting EJ Manuel on Sunday after Tyrod Taylor wasn’t able to make enough progression on recovery from a knee injury suffered last week.
Taylor was hurt during a long run against the Tennessee Titans, spraining his MCL. Taylor stayed in the game and later led the Bills on the game-winning touchdown drive, but after the game it was clear that the injury was worse than initially thought.
Taylor reportedly tried to convince the Bills to let him play this weekend, but his knee reported was not recovered enough.
That will leave the Bills with EJ Manuel, the 2013 first round pick who hasn’t played since being benched last season in favor of Kyle Orton. Though Manuel has endured a shaky career, he had a strong preseason and was close to winning the starting job. The Bills ultimately decided on Taylor for his speed and play-making ability, but Manuel may not be much of a drop off.
— theScore NFL (@theScoreNFL) October 17, 2015
It is still unclear how much longer Tyrod Taylor could be out. There were rumors this week that the Buffalo Bills were inquiring on the passport status of some free agent quarterbacks ahead of next week’s trip to London to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills also signed veteran Josh Johnson.
The Buffalo Bills have yet to confirm the rumors that EJ Manuel will be starting on Sunday, but Manuel took the bulk of first-team snaps during practice this week and sources close to the team say he definitely will be starting.
The game could be a key one for the Buffalo Bills. The Cincinnati Bengals come to Buffalo with a 5-0 record, and if the Bills are the playoff contenders that many believe them to be this could be a signature win. The Bengals have not yet faced a defensive line as dominant as the one the Bills have, and though Andy Dalton is playing like a league MVP, the Bills have been known to harass elite quarterbacks and force them into poor performances, especially in front of the raucous home crowd.
The Bills could have another huge boost in the game. Running back LeSean McCoy, who missed the last two weeks while recovering from a hamstring injury, is listed as probable and appears likely to be playing. McCoy himself seems confident, hinting in an Instagram post that he will definitely be back on the field.
This is quite a turnaround for McCoy, who was initially expected to be out for another two weeks at minimum. McCoy himself had said it was best for him to sit down until he was healthy.
“One thing I promised myself is I can’t go out there if I’m not 100 percent,” McCoy said, via Joe Buscaglia of WKBW. “So, if it’s this game, or next game — whenever it is, I’m rushing to get back but I’m not playing until I’m 100 percent. To be honest, I’m not the bruising type. My thing is make people miss and get out of there. If you can’t do that, you can’t do nothing.”
McCoy would lessen the load on EJ Manuel, who has not started a game since Week 4 of last season. McCoy has struggled in the running game this year but is catching the ball well, which could give Manuel another important weapon.
The rumors about Tyrod Taylor’s injury status are still not clear, but if the Buffalo Bills should excel under EJ Manuel this week they may think of sitting Tyrod for next week as well, as the Jacksonville game leads directly into the bye week and a chance for him to fully recover.
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