The Buffalo Bills say they aren't concerned with a knee injury to E.J. Manuel, but it's not a good sign that the team's first-round pick at quarterback needs to undergo surgery before he's even played an NFL game.
Manuel suffered a knee injury in Saturday night's Bills preseason game, and had swelling Sunday morning. He had a procedure Sunday in Buffalo -- one coach Doug Marrone referred to over and over again as "minor" -- and is expected to miss the remainder of the team's preseason games, after which he will be considered day-to-day.
It's a major bummer, as Manuel had looked spectacular thus far in preseason. Although the team was derided heavily for making the Florida State product the first selection in this year's NFL Draft, he was 27-for-33 for 199 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions across his first two preseason games, and showed his versatility with a 24-yard run in his first game. Bills blog Buffalo Rumblings had described Manuel as having a "clear and decisive" lead over Kevin Kolb in the battle to be the team's quarterback. Now, he'll be unable to play for a solid chunk of time as he tries to adjust to the NFL.
The team won't add another quarterback, so it's up to Kolb and third-stringer Jeff Tuel. Considering the rookie Manuel will miss the majority of his first NFL preseason, it would seem Kolb is in the driver's seat to be the team's starter on opening day, although Manuel has not been ruled out to play when the season opens.