By Mark Gaughan
Kevin Kolb returned to practice Monday, but his injured knee still is not 100 percent.
Kolb was the third quarterback in the rotation during practice, behind EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel. Kolb took 16 snaps during the 11-on-11 portions of practice, while Manuel and Tuel got 20 snaps each.
Kolb wasn’t limited in practice, but he was not moving around at peak efficiency.
“I’m pretty good. It’s getting better every day,” Kolb said after taking part in a full practice for the first time in 10 days. He injured his knee on Aug. 3 in an innocuous slip on a rubber mat between two of the Bills’ practice fields.
“I think we’re taking it slowly and carefully,” Kolb acknowledged. “But I’m trying to push the envelope a little bit. I’m trying to get out there and get a little part of this fun.”
Both Manuel and Tuel performed well in the Bills’ 44-20 win at Indianapolis Sunday. If Kolb is going to seriously challenge Manuel for the starting job, he will have to look very good when he gets into a game.
There’s no guarantee Kolb will be healthy enough to play Friday when the Bills face the Minnesota Vikings.
“I hope so,” Kolb said, when asked if he expects to play Friday. “Obviously that’s the plan. That’s what I’m pushing for. But I gotta let my body tell me what I can do. It’s not an ideal situation.”
Kolb, a seventh-year veteran signed from Arizona, missed six days of practice in addition to the Colts game. He had to leave training camp a day after his injury due to a death in the family.
He said the freak nature of the injury – he didn’t even fall - was maddening.
“I had just come off my best practice probably and was feeling really comfortable and had just got through telling everybody, ‘Man, this is the most comfortable I’ve felt in awhile,’” Kolb said. “For something goofy like that to happen was very frustrating. And then with the family situation, having to leave the team, it was obviously not a good time. But you fight through those struggles and try to move on.”
Kolb started Monday's practice with a flexible wrap on the knee. Halfway through the workout he took it off. "It didn't feel near as good as I thought it would," he said.