Bills coach hopes QB EJ Manuel ready for regular-season opener

Will EJ Manuel be the Bills' starter if he's healthy for the season opener? (USATSI)
If the Bills' season started today, rookie undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel would be the starting quarterback. First-rounder EJ Manuel is sidelined for the rest of the preseason with a minor knee injury, and veteran Kevin Kolb suffered concussion-like symptoms in Saturday's loss to the Redskins.

In the interim, the team will reportedly work out Matt Leinart and Jeff Beck.

Bills coach Doug Marrone conceded that the quarterback situation is an issue -- "I'm not going to sit here and say everything is fine and dandy, it's a concern." -- but however the depth chart shakes out in the coming days, Marrone hopes that Manuel will be ready in two weeks for the season opener against the Patriots.

“That’s what I’m hoping for,” Marrone said, according to the team's web site. “[Manuel] had the procedure done and he was with us on the field the other day just watching and observing. I think we just have to wait until that period where the doctor looks at him and says, ‘Here’s where we are.’ Because people recover so differently from minor stuff.”

Marrone also indicated that wide receiver Brad Smith, a former college quarterback, and running back Fred Jackson are emergency options at quarterback.

In related news: Jets coach Rex Ryan would love to have any options at QB.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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