If you took Sunday off from following football, relaxed with the family and expected to tune into the late night news with things being quiet on the Bills front, you’d be terribly wrong.
Saturday’s injury to Kevin Kolb during Buffalo’s blowout preseason loss at Washington opened the floodgates of change at the quarterback position, and suddenly E.J. Manuel went from a rookie the team hoped for big things early in his career to a guy the team is essentially forced to now count on in his first NFL season.
First with Kolb, who left Saturday’s contest with concussion-like symptoms. The injury appears far more serious than originally thought. Tim Graham of the Buffalo News cited a source that says Kolb’s injury could actually be career threatening, and the organization is proceeding with that in mind.
That quickly brought them to signing free agent quarterback Matt Leinart. The former 2006 first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals will likely serve in an insurance role with the Bills this season, similar to what Tavaris Jackson did last year. Jackson was acquired late in the preseason last year after a horrible preseason performance by Vince Young.
Buffalo then added another quarterback late in the day, trading linebacker Chris White to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Thaddeus Lewis. Lewis spent last year with the Cleveland Browns and made one start. He was released by the Browns and picked up off waivers by Detroit.
The one piece of good news, and perhaps the biggest is that Ian Rapoport reports Manuel is on track to start Week one against the New England Patriots. With Kolb very likely done, that suddenly makes the Manuel news crucial to Buffalo’s fortunes.
Meanwhile it’s a good bet that Jeff Tuel has went from fourth camp body at quarterback when he first signed as an undrafted free agent to the first guy in should Manuel go down.