2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Backup QB Thad Lewis to start for Bills at Pats

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-27 14:06

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel won't start in Buffalo's season finale at New England because of a small tear in a left knee ligament that will not require surgery.

Coach Doug Marrone revealed the nature of Manuel's injury for the first time after practice Friday. Backup Thad Lewis will start Sunday.

''The decision process was injury-related, meaning that he was not able to do the things at 100 percent that, in my opinion, we need to do to win the game,'' Marrone said. ''So at the end of the day, I made the decision to put him out there for no other reason because I thought Thad would give us the best chance to win this game with EJ's injury not progressing.''

Marrone said Manuel has a ''small tear'' in his lateral collateral ligament, which the first-round draft pick hurt in a 27-20 win at Jacksonville on Dec. 15. The tear is regarded as a minor knee injury.

Lewis will start after taking all team snaps in practice Friday. Manuel could still be active and is listed as questionable.

The Bills (6-9) have already been eliminated from playoff contention but have a chance to win three straight for the first time since opening the 2011 season 3-0. The Patriots (11-4) have already clinched the AFC East and can secure a first-round bye.

The injury is the latest setback for Manuel, who is 4-6 this season. He missed four straight games after spraining his right knee in a 37-24 loss at Cleveland on Oct. 3. Manuel also missed the final two preseason games after hurting his left knee.

It's a setback for Marrone as well, who a week earlier had said he was ''110 percent'' confident Manuel would play against the Patriots.

Marrone began backing off that comment Monday, when he declined to announce a starter.

Manuel and Lewis split practice time Tuesday and Thursday, before Marrone determined the injury was limiting Manuel's lateral mobility.

Lewis is listed as probable because of an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder, which he hurt in a 19-0 win against Miami last weekend. He has a 2-2 record and has thrown for three touchdowns and three interceptions since his promotion from the practice squad in early October.

''I feel very fortunate. I'm excited about the challenge,'' Lewis said. ''It's just another opportunity to go out and make the best of it and help this team get a win.''

The Patriots will be playing Lewis for the first time, after facing Manuel in their season-opening 23-21 road win.

''I know he's been playing good. I know he throws the ball down the field,'' Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib said. ''They get a lot of explosive plays when he's in the game, because he's not afraid to throw the ball down the field.''

Against Miami, Lewis completed a 57-yard pass up the left sideline to Robert Woods despite Buffalo being backed up inside its own 10.

The Patriots are expected to play without safety Devin McCourty, who hasn't practiced since sustaining a concussion in a 41-7 win at Baltimore on Sunday. That opens the door for rookie Duron Harmon to start.

The Patriots will face a Bills running game that ranks second in the NFL with 2,138 yards, led by C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson.

''They do have a lot of weapons,'' Harmon said. ''So we know we're going to have our hands full.''

The Bills placed safety Aaron Williams on injured reserve and promoted receiver Cordell Roberson off the practice squad. Williams had already been ruled out because of a rib injury.

Roberson provides the team with depth at receiver with starter Stevie Johnson missing his second straight game. Johnson has been excused after the death of his mother, whose funeral was held Friday in Northern California.

---

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group