Buffalo's backup quarterback will make his second consecutive start this season. Head coach Rex Ryan announced after Thursday's practice that EJ Manuel will start Sunday against Jacksonville. The call was an easy one for Buffalo's head coach to make after Tyrod Taylor was not able to participate in practice Thursday.
"Tyrod he did a nice job (Wednesday) and split the reps, but as he came back in the evening our medical people and doctors took a look at him and he certainly still has some soreness in that knee," said head coach Rex Ryan. "It hasn't healed all the way, so we're not going to put him out there until he's 100 percent. So we're not going to play him in the game."
EJ Manuel got all the first team reps in practice Thursday and Ryan believes his backup signal caller looks ready to go.
"I think his accuracy has really improved," said Ryan. "He had a great day (Thursday) throwing the football. So we'll just see it carry into the game hopefully and I believe it will."
For Manuel it's his second straight start after he went 28-42 passing for 263 yards with a touchdown and an interception in last week's loss to Cincinnati.
"I thought he played a solid game," said offensive coordinator Greg Roman of Manuel's performance in Week 6. "A couple of things we could clean up-that's what this is all about. An opportunity to go out against a very good Jacksonville team, take another step. But we have full confidence in EJ. We love his skill set. He's doing really good in his preparation. I really think he's growing as a professional and how he prepares week to week. I think that will serve him well moving forward."
Manuel believes having last week's start as a foundation will serve him well this week after not playing in regular season game in more than a calendar year.
"My mindset is different going into the game," he said. "Last week you study so much and you study so much and you think things are going to happen exactly how it did on tape and that's not how football is played. You've got to go out there and just play the game. That's really my approach going into this game."
Manuel does have some previous success against Jacksonville. Back in 2013, Manuel as a rookie completed 71 percent of his passes with a pair of touchdown throws and also ran for a touchdown as he led the Bills to a 27-20 victory over the Jaguars on the road.
There is also the added storyline of facing his former head coach, Doug Marrone, who is now on Jacksonville's staff as an offensive line coach. Marrone benched Manuel last year in Week 4. Manuel dismissed it saying it's all background stuff.
"For me personally it's just about building off of what I did last week," he said. "Making a throw here or a throw there instead of looking at it on Monday and seeing it on tape and wishing I had done this or done that on two or three plays that could've changed the game for us offensively. That's my biggest focus and I think Jacksonville they do a good job. But on offense I've always felt it's about executing. It's not so much what the defense is doing. We want to be the ones who apply the pressure not necessarily those guys."