By Mark Gaughan
The Buffalo Bills have a firmer time frame on when quarterback EJ Manuel return now that swelling in his sprained knee has subsided. Coach Doug Marrone said today Manuel will be out four to six more weeks.
That could allow Manuel to return for the Nov. 17 game against the New York Jets at home - from an optimistic perspective. The Bills have a bye the week after the Jets game.
The timetable makes it likely for him to return by the Atlanta game in Toronto on Dec. 1. That would be seven weeks away. Manuel should be available for the last five games of the regular season.
Marrone said he's not about to dwell on Manuel's absence and he's glad the rookie will be back at some point.
"Am I disappointed? No," Marrone said. "I want to make sure he’s healthy when he comes back. Just because when you say four to six, it can be four, it can be six, it can be three, it can be seven. I think that’s why you always get stuck. You always get asked that time frame and for some reason everyone’s always nervous about it. If a player returns early, I would think that’s a great thing. If he returns later, it’s always, ‘Uh, what happened? What went on?’ Things like that. It’s four to six weeks.
"We don’t want him hurt at all," Marrone said. "But where he is in the rehabilitation process, I’m happy that we’re going to get him back out there."
Just how much practice time Manuel will need before he goes back to game action is uncertain.
"I think when he returns to practice I'll be able to tell you exactly where he's at," Marrone said.