Bills QB EJ Manuel out for Week 17, Thad Lewis to get start

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Thaddeus Lewis will make his sixth start of the season. (USATSI)
Thaddeus Lewis will make his sixth start of the season. (USATSI)

Though he was held out of Week 16 with a knee sprain, there was some hope this week when Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel returned to practice Tuesday and Thursday. But Buffalo coach Doug Marrone said Friday that Manuel isn't progressing as fast as the team would like, and as a result, the team will start Thad Lewis on Sunday vs. the Patriots.

This will be Lewis' sixth start of the season, and so far in 2013, he's gone 2-3 while completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 845 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

While Buffalo's season will be over after Sunday, this game does have an effect on the postseason.

If the Bills upset the Patriots and the Bengals beat the Ravens, New England would fall from the No. 2 seed and would have to go on the road next week for the wild card weekend. Cincinnati, then, would grab the No. 2 seed and get a first-round bye.

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