Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone appeared on WGR550 and threw us all a curve when it comes to the team’s quarterbacking. Marrone said last week the team would add someone with a chance to start this Sunday after it was revealed E.J. Manuel would miss several weeks with a knee injury. What we didn’t expect is the team to promote their practice squad quarterback to starter, but that’s exactly what’s slated to happen this week.
Marrone said the team will not only promote Thad Lewis from the practice squad, but he’ll start ahead of Jeff Tuel this Sunday when the Bills host the Cincinnati Bengals. Essentially, “Tuel Time” is already over.
“Thad gives us the best chance,” Marrone told WGR’s Howard Simon. “He can extend plays, he can run, he can throw it..now he has an opportunity to show us what he has”
The Bills were interested in free agent quarterback Josh Freeman over the last week and made a play for him over the weekend, but Freeman chose to sign with the Minnesota Vikings late Sunday night.
There were reports the Bills were signing free agent quarterback Pat White to compete for a starting spot while Manuel’s out, but reports of his signing were inaccurate. White is not signed despite remaining in Buffalo over the weekend and Adam Schefter noted on his Twitter account White is on way to visit the Oakland Raiders.
Meanwhile Lewis is being throwing into the fire by starting against the Bengals, who have a talented defense and thwarted Tom Brady on Sunday. Lewis has one start behind his belt for his career, getting the nod for Cleveland last season in their season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bills will still sign another quarterback, very likely today whether that candidate is inked to the active roster or practice squad. Either way this set of moves isn’t exactly a vote of confidence for Tuel, the undrafted free agent who showed promise through training camp but was awful when called on against Cleveland last Thursday.
Whether you love or hate the Bills quarterback-related moves already announced and another coming, the bottom line is the fortune of the team starts and ends with Manuel’s health. Him going down in the third quarter last week could very well send this team’s record plummeting. The Bills will need to play superb defense and manufacture one helluva a running game over the next several weeks to stay competitive and keep any glimmer of postseason hopes alive.