EJ Manuel will miss rest of Bills preseason after knee surgery

EJ Manuel will miss the remainder of the preseason with a knee injury.
EJ Manuel will miss the remainder of the preseason with a knee injury. (USATSI)

Less than 12 hours after EJ Manuel went out and basically won the starting Bills quarterback job -- his performance Friday night was vastly superior to that of Kevin Kolb in a win over the Vikings -- his gig is suddenly in jeopardy thanks to a surprising knee injury that will keep Manuel out for the rest of the preseason.

The Bills announced the news Saturday afternoon and said that an MRI showed the "need to have a minor knee procedure."

"EJ Manuel had some swelling in his left knee this morning and was examined by our medical staff," the Bills said in a team statement. "An MRI revealed that he will need to have a minor knee procedure and that has been scheduled. He will miss the remainder of the preseason and then be re-evaluated at that time. Kevin Kolb will be our starting quarterback for this weekend’s game at Washington."

So ... this is a total nightmare for the Bills. Manuel went 26-for-33 in the preseason for 199 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Manuel appeared to be working quite well -- especially for a rookie -- in Doug Marrone's new offense and appeared on the verge of quickly justifying the Bills reach for him at No. 16 overall.

Now it's a total toss-up whether or not Manuel can even be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, and you probably don't want to take the odds that he'll be good to go against the Patriots. Forcing the future of the franchise on the field after knee surgery and not playing the last two weeks of the preseason seems like a risky play at best.

That means Kevin Kolb could be the guy for Buffalo as they kick off the season. Given what he's shown in the preseason, that shouldn't inspire a ton of confidence.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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