E.J. Manuel needs to practice by Wednesday to start for Bills

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel needs to get back in practice by next Wednesday if he wants to earn the start over undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel.

Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel would need to get medical clearance by next Wednesday for head coach Doug Marrone to be comfortable giving him the start in Week 1, according to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. Marrone said that Manuel not practicing until Thursday would make him "concerned," but Manuel getting out there on Monday or Wednesday would give him time to "see how he played and make a decision."

More from Buffalo Rumblings: Kevin Kolb injury spurs action

Manuel is recovering from a procedure on his knee and his status for Week 1 has been in doubt. He was locked in a battle with Kevin Kolb for the starting quarterback role, but Kolb suffered a head injury in the team's third preseason game and given his history, he's shut down for the time being.

That would put undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel under center on Sept. 8. This is obviously the opposite of a desirable situation for the Bills, so they would like to get Manuel in there sooner rather than later. Through three preseason games, Tuel has 299 yards and two touchdowns.

Of course, the team would probably rather play Tuel than a very rusty Manuel. Marrone said that the first day Manuel is practicing with the team, he'll have a "good feel for how long it may be" until Manuel is ready to play in an actual game situation.

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