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Kevin Kolb's head injury puts Bills in precarious QB position

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills' quarterback depth chart has even more question marks today, and it's difficult to fathom they're not in the market to sign another one soon. Perhaps they're already on the phone.

Kevin Kolb went into today's exhibition game against Washington with a chance to reinsert himself into the quarterback competition but left in the first quarter with a head injury.

Kolb was kneed in the back of the head on a scramble. He was taken to the locker room for evaluation and diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms. Kolb has had concussion problems before.

Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel was on crutches after having a knee procedure a week ago. The Bills already ruled out Manuel for today's game and the preseason finale against the Detroit Lions. He will be re-evaluated before the Sept. 8 season opener.

That leaves undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel as the only healthy quarterback on Buffalo's roster. Wide receiver Brad Smith has played quarterback before, but I haven't seen him take a non-Wildcat snap since last summer under Chan Gailey.

The Bills can't afford to tiptoe through the next two weeks with one true quarterback.

The list of available quarterbacks is uninspiring: former Bills backup Tyler Thigpen, Matt Leinart, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich and John Beck.

The Bills had several injury scares in the first half, most notably running back C.J. Spiller, whose came up gimpy after scoring a first-quarter touchdown. Spiller reportedly suffered a cut and returned in the second quarter.

Also sent to the locker room were cornerback Stephon Gilmore (hand) and safety Da'Norris Searcy (head).


Brad Smith | C.J. Spiller | Chan Gailey | Da'Norris Searcy | EJ Manuel | Jeff Tuel | Kevin Kolb | Stephon Gilmore | Tyler Thigpen
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |