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Matt Flynn, Jeff Tuel might be battling for Bills QB job this week

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills' quarterback situation has gotten even murkier.

Thad Lewis, their starter for the past three games, has the flu and sore ribs from Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints. He was unable to practice today and is iffy for Thursday.

Undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel and veteran Matt Flynn split the first-team reps in practice today and could start Sunday's game against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.

EJ Manuel was limited in practice but already has been ruled out because of his injured right knee. Bills coach Doug Marrone also announced practice-squad quarterback Dennis Dixon is not an option for Sunday.

If Lewis can't play, then Marrone said he feels better about Tuel but only because he's less familiar with Flynn, who has been the third quarterback since he was signed two weeks ago.

Marrone said he's evaluating the position "rep by rep" this week.

Jeff Tuel taking first-team snaps in preparation for 8-0 KC

By Mark Gaughan

Undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel was taking the first-team snaps at quarterback today as the Buffalo Bills began on-field preparation for Sunday's game against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.

Thad Lewis, who started the past three games in relief of EJ Manuel, was not on the practice field. Lewis took a severe shot to the ribs at the start of Sunday's game in New Orleans, although he played the entire game.

Manuel was back on the practice field and participating in individual drills. Manuel was doing drop-backs reasonably well and making throws during the early session. However, this is just an initial return-to-work session for Manuel. He is not going to be in the mix to be on the top three of the QB rotation this week. Manuel's earliest return probably would be for the home game against the New York Jets on Nov. 17, although the game against Atlanta Dec. 1 still may be more likely.

Matt Flynn was taking the second-team snaps and practice-squad QB Dennis Dixon was the third man in at the position.

Bills coach Doug Marrone will address the media after practice.

First-quarter analysis: Thad Lewis off and fumbling

By Jay Skurski

It took all of eight seconds for things to go south for the Buffalo Bills today in New Orleans.

Quarterback Thad Lewis was drilled by Saints linebacker David Hawthorne and fumbled on the Bills’ first play from scrimmage. The ball was recovered by New Orleans’ Junior Galette, giving the Saints the ball at the Buffalo 22-yard line.

Buffalo’s defense, though, came through. The Saints lost 7 yards on their first three plays, and kicker Garrett Hartley’s 47-yard field goal missed wide left.

Lewis needs to take better care of the ball.

He fumbled again on the Bills’ third possession. Lewis had the chance to throw, but instead pulled the ball down and was drilled by the Saints’ Cameron Jordan. Had the tuck rule still been around, Lewis would have been saved. Alas, it’s not, and Jordan recovered Lewis’ fumble at the Buffalo 21-yard line. That set up Drew Brees’ 15-yard touchdown pass to Lance Moore to open the scoring.

Continue reading "First-quarter analysis: Thad Lewis off and fumbling" »

Jeff Tuel remains top backup for now; Matt Flynn scratched

By Tim Graham

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Buffalo Bills will stick with Jeff Tuel as their backup quarterback for at least one more week, choosing to deactivate recently signed veteran Matt Flynn for this afternoon's game against the Miami Dolphins in Sun Life Stadium.

All of the scratches are:

Buffalo Bills

  • Quarterback EJ Manuel
  • Quarterback Matt Flynn
  • Guard Antoine McClain
  • Linebacker Ty Powell
  • Cornerback Justin Rogers
  • Cornerback Brandon Burton
  • Cornerback Brandon Smith

Miami Dolphins

  • Quarterback Pat Devlin
  • Running back Michael Gilislee
  • Guard Danny Watkins
  • Guard Dallas Thomas
  • Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe
  • Linebacker Josh Kaddu
  • Cornerback Will Davis

Doug Marrone still mulling over backup quarterback decision

By Jay Skurski

Matt Flynn has all of two practices with the Buffalo Bills under his belt.

Despite that, he's being considered for the backup quarterback role Sunday when the Bills face Miami, according to coach Doug Marrone.

"Right now, I mean, we're still going with Matt, working with Matt to get him up to speed," Marrone said today. "I think at the end of the week we'll make that decision. You know, I think it's too early for us right now."

Continue reading "Doug Marrone still mulling over backup quarterback decision" »

Bills still fans of Jeff Tuel as development quarterback

By Tim Graham

Doug Marrone declared faith in Jeff Tuel to be the starting quarterback on opening day.

Seven weeks later, Tuel sought out Marrone to find out where he stood with the Buffalo Bills.

"Actually, Jeff came in to see me," Marrone said of the Bills' decision to bring in Matt Flynn today. The Bills now have four quarterbacks. Tuel would appear to be last on the depth chart.

"I told him, I said, 'It hasn't really changed," Marrone said. "I said, 'Here was our plan in the beginning. This is what we wanted to do. This is how we see you. We see you as a young quarterback that's developing.'

"We reaffirmed with him all the things I said here: 'Hey, we like you. You're a young, developing quarterback. In a perfect world we were probably thinking practice squad. You played extremely well.' "

Continue reading "Bills still fans of Jeff Tuel as development quarterback" »

Jeff Tuel gives up No. 8 to Brian Moorman

By Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman owes rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel a nice dinner.

But as far as compensation to Tuel goes for him handing over jersey No. 8 to Moorman upon his return this week, that's the only payment that will take place.

"I didn't really have to think much about it. The things Brian has done here are tremendous, the Pro Bowls and all that. He deserves the number," said Tuel, who will now wear No. 7. "If he wants his number here, then I'm going to give him it. He's done a hell of a lot more here than I have, so in my eyes he deserved it."

Continue reading "Jeff Tuel gives up No. 8 to Brian Moorman" »

Poll: How do you feel about Thad Lewis starting?

Bills will promote QB Thad Lewis from practice squad, start him in Week Six

Thad Lewis, 25, joined the Bills in a trade with the Detroit Lions just before the regular season. (Mark Mulville/News file photo)

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills are staying in-house to fill the quarterback void created by EJ Manuel's injury in Week Five.

Coach Doug Marrone started his weekly segment with WGR 550 this morning by announcing that quarterback Thad Lewis will be promoted from the practice squad and will start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week Six.

Lewis leapfrogs undrafted rookie free agent Jeff Tuel on the depth chart. Tuel went just 8 of 20 for 80 yards and threw the game-deciding pick six in relief of Manuel during a 37-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns last Thursday.

Lewis, 25, joined the Bills in a trade with the Detroit Lions just before the regular season. He did not make the 53-man roster, but was added to the team's practice squad.

Lewis has one career start -- with the Browns in 2012. In that situation, he was also promoted from the practice squad to start.

Marrone will address the media at 1 p.m., and will have more on the decision then.

Bills lose out on Josh Freeman; reportedly will sign QB Pat White

By Jay Skurski

The Josh Freeman watch is over.

For fans of the Buffalo Bills hoping the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback would land with their team to replace the injured EJ Manuel, it did not end well.

Freeman has chosen to sign with the Minnesota Vikings, according to a report from Pro Football Talk.

In response, the Bills will reportedly sign quarterback Pat White, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. The Bills are at their 53-man roster limit, so before White can officially be signed they will need to release someone.

Continue reading "Bills lose out on Josh Freeman; reportedly will sign QB Pat White" »

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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 |