For now, Bills plan to start Jeff Tuel against Patriots in Week 1

This is the man who is planning to start Buffalo's season opener. (USATSI)
This is the man who is planning to start Buffalo's season opener. (USATSI)

With the quarterback mess in Buffalo -- E.J. Manuel won’t play the rest of the preseason after knee surgery and Kevin Kolb’s career reportedly is in jeopardy after another concussion -- coach Doug Marrone has come to the following conclusion.

He said Monday that, for now, he plans to start Jeff Tuel against the Patriots in Week 1.

So, um, good luck with that Jeff Tuel.

Marrone said he was hopeful Manuel could participate in that game in some fashion -- and Marrone could still change his mind based on Manuel's health. But for now, he’s counting on Tuel, an undrafted free agent out of Washington State, to run with the first team.

Remember, the Bills also just signed former first-round Matt Leinart to a deal, so it wouldn’t be THAT outlandish to think Leinart could get playing time as well if he’s needed.

“Jeff has gotten most of the reps and you saw there are some things that we’ve got to do a better job getting him prepared for and he has to do a better job executing on the field,” Marrone said Saturday. “It is a concern and we knew that going in. I made that decision that we were going in with three quarterbacks knowing we had to get them all ready. And this is the situation that we’re in and we have to deal with.”

Remember: four months ago, Tuel was an undrafted free agent who signed on as the Bills third-string quarterback. Now, he very well could make his NFL debut starting against the Patriots. And here’s some additional perspective

According to, it appears as though no quarterback since the NFL-AFL merger has gone straight from the undrafted free agent ranks to starting as the team quarterback in Week 1. But there is this:

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