By Tim Graham
The Buffalo Bills are on the verge of using their third starting quarterback this year.
Bills coach Doug Marrone has declared Thad Lewis doubtful for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The NFL defines "doubtful" as a 25 percent chance to play. That means undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel likely will get his first NFL start Sunday. Marrone said Tuel took "a little more" first-team reps than Matt Flynn this week in practice.
"Both those guys got to be ready to go," Marrone said. "They know the situation."
Lewis is recovering from bruised ribs and the flu. He wasn't expected to throw the ball until sometime this afternoon. The Bills practiced in the morning.
Marrone said Lewis' main issue is pain tolerance with torso rotation, a critical component of throwing the ball. Lewis has been working out in a pool. Marrone added the team will discuss their plan this afternoon and Saturday before making a final call.
"We're trying to hold out to see if Thad will be ready," Marrone said. "We feel that if he is, we have the option to play him if he's healthy enough for us to win."Regardless of Sunday's starter, there's a chance all three could play.
Even if Lewis starts, Tuel and Flynn could be just a hit or two away from getting on the field.
The Chiefs lead the NFL with 36 sacks. Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali have 20 sacks between them.
taggedDoug Marrone | Jeff Tuel | Matt Flynn | Thad Lewis