On Monday head coach Doug Marrone called quarterback EJ Manuel ahead of schedule in his return from a sprained LCL in his right knee. Today the Bills franchise signal caller begins his rehab.
"We were going to let it calm down a little bit and see where he's at," said Marrone. "Now he's going to truly start the rehab process."
The team's medical staff and athletic trainers wanted the swelling around the sprained ligament to subside before starting rehabilitation. But Marrone made it sound as though the rehab process is commencing sooner than initially forecast.
"I checked with the doctors and he's ahead of schedule with where he is right now," said Marrone.
Being ahead of schedule is not new territory for the Bills top draft choice. After sustaining a sprained left knee in Buffalo's second preseason game it was unclear if he would be healthy enough to play in the season opener.
Manuel was practicing two and a half weeks later and was full go for the Bills home opener against New England.
"The report was encouraging," said Marrone. "When you say ahead of schedule people want a timeline. I'm waiting for the doctor to give me a timeline. But I was encouraged talking with him and seeing him walking around. By the middle to the end of the week we should have a timeline for him."
Buffalo signed a fourth quarterback to the roster Monday inking veteran free agent Matt Flynn. Marrone explained that the signing was no reflection on how long they may be without Manuel, but rather the fragile state of health of Buffalo's quarterback position as a whole.
"All we're doing is just trying to make sure on our roster that we have enough players with the amount of injuries that we've had," said Marrone. "We're backed up with people who can go out there and do it."
As for Manuel he will be back in the lineup at some point. Nailing down an approximate time as to when will be more effectively determined by week's end.
"Obviously they think he'll be back," said Marrone. "His first injury he came back very quickly. He's a young kid and he's healed well. He's had some misfortune. Obviously they ran some tests on him and it worked out well and now when he starts the rehab process to see where he is when he begins it that's when they'll be able to an exact timeline."