By Tim Graham
Kevin Kolb isn't the only beneficiary of EJ Manuel's knee injury.
Manuel's inability to play for the rest of the preseason will grant undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel meaningful practice reps and exhibition snaps for the next two weeks.
Tuel would have been looking at mop-up duty for the Buffalo Bills the rest of the way. He might not have played at all next Saturday at Washington.
Teams traditionally play their starters for as long as possible in the third preseason game, meaning Manuel likely would have gotten the start and played into the third quarter. Kolb probably would have finished the game.
Now the Bills must make sure Tuel, their only other arm, is as prepared as possible. Kolb has proven to be injury prone. One unfortunate misstep, awkward pivot or vicious hit could put Tuel in line to start on opening day.
No matter how minor Manuel's knee procedure will be, he won't be able to run full speed for a while. The Bills already have ruled him out for the last two preseason games.
There are no guarantees the Bills will want to insert Manuel back into the lineup for the New England Patriots on Sept. 8. The situation has to be proper.
He's a quarterback who likes to move. Throwing on the run is one of his prominent skills. While the Patriots' defense isn't fearsome as a unit, they do have some savage players. Remember when Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes ripped off Ryan Fitzpatrick's helmet last year?
Tuel, from Washington State, has been an efficient quarterback against the Bills' backup defensive backs and opponents' reserve players.
He played the entire second half against the Indianapolis Colts and went 19 of 23 for 212 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Friday night against the Minnesota Vikings, he completed two of three passes for 24 yards.
taggedEJ Manuel | Jeff Tuel | Kevin Kolb