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Tyrod Taylor's injury could give EJ Manuel the start vs. Bengals

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The Bills' starting quarterback could miss time, which would force backup EJ Manuel into duty.

The backfield of the Buffalo Bills continues to suffer setbacks. According to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, quarterback Tyrod Taylor is "hurt pretty bad" and could miss the team's upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals as well as the Week 7 trip to London against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports that Taylor suffered an MCL sprain as the result of a horse-collar tackle during Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. If he can't play, backup EJ Manuel will take over at quarterback.

Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan, though, wasn't ready to rule Taylor out this week. During an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday morning, Ryan said, "I certainly wouldn’t count Tyrod Taylor out. He finished this game this past week. He’s got heart, he’s got toughness and a lot of ability."

Manuel was expected to get most of the reps in practice Wednesday and even though he hasn't started a regular season game since he was benched for Kyle Orton in Week 4 of last season, Ryan expressed his confidence in the third-year quarterback.

"We’re really happy with him if in fact he is playing quarterback," Ryan said.

Despite Ryan telling the press that Taylor hasn't been completely healthy all season, the quarterback missed only one play during the Bills' come-from-behind win over the Titans in Week 5 and only four snaps so far this year. Despite playing through pain, the quarterback has completed more than 70 percent of his passes for 1,097 yards and nine touchdowns to just four interceptions. He also has rushed for 187 yards and two scores on 31 carries. In Taylor's first year as a starter, Buffalo is sitting at 3-2.

Taylor's performance played a role in the team's decision to trade backup Matt Cassel to the Dallas Cowboys in September. With Taylor hurt and only Manuel and Dustin Vaughan remaining between the team's 53-man roster and practice squad, the Bills reportedly looked into potential quarterback additions. According to Carucci, they inquired into the availability of former backup Matt Simms, who preferred to remain on the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad.

Buffalo ultimately settled on journeyman backup Josh Johnson, who had spent the last two weeks with the Colts while Andrew Luck was out with a shoulder injury.

Taylor's injury is the latest for a backfield that is already without its top two tailbacks. Offseason acquisition LeSean McCoy missed the last two weeks while recovering from a pulled hamstring and may remain out for several more games. Karlos Williams, McCoy's replacement, missed Week 5 while dealing with a concussion. His status for the Bills' upcoming game against the Bengals remains unclear.