E.J. Manuel's knee is doing just fine, apparently, because the Buffalo Bills have officially tabbed him as their Week 1 starting quarterback.
It's been expected that Manuel could end up as the team's 2013 starter since he was taken with the 16th overall pick in April's NFL Draft. Meniscus surgery on his knee on Aug. 18 sidelined him for two weeks, however, casting doubt on whether he would be ready to go for the Bills' opener.
Signs that Manuel was on track to return have mounted over the past couple of days: he returned to the practice field in a limited capacity on Sunday, then was a full participant on Monday.
The rookie's recovery is a huge break for the Bills after they were forced to place Manuel's primary competitor, Kevin Kolb, on the season-ending injured reserve list with a severe concussion. That move left undrafted rookie free agent Jeff Tuel as the only other signal caller on the active roster.
In his two appearances in preseason action, Manuel threw for 199 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His first challenge as an NFL starter on Sunday? Beating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.