EJ surgery complete, chance to be ready Week 1


EJ Manuel's knee injury suffered in Friday night's game against Minnesota led to a minor surgical procedure, which was performed Sunday morning. While head coach Doug Marrone did not have the results of that procedure, Buffalo's head coach did not appear overly worried about Manuel's recovery time confirming that they won't even sign another quarterback during Manuel's absence.

"I have not spoken to any of the doctors to find out how the procedure went," said Marrone. "We were on the practice field at that time. The procedure was done in Buffalo. I really see this procedure as minor. I don't view it as something as, 'Hey we're not sure.' This is a very, very minor procedure so I'm not really concerned about it.

"We're not going to pursue (adding another quarterback) right now, which I think says a lot. We're going to evaluate it after the preseason and take it day by day after that."

Marrone was caught off guard by EJ Manuel's knee injury as much as everyone else. The Bills top draft choice didn't mention that his knee was bothering him until after Friday night's preseason game. Structurally everything checked out. Saturday morning however, there was some swelling and after an MRI a minor surgical procedure was the chosen course of action.

"I talked to EJ and asked him what play it was," said Marrone. "He wasn't sure. He thought it was the sixth play of the first drive. I went back and looked at it and tried to see something and it really was hard to tell. He didn't even know if that was the play that he was hurt on."

It was a 1st-and-10 play at Buffalo's 30-yard line and Manuel picked up five yards on a carry to the right side where he was brought down by Minnesota safety Robert Blanton.

Kevin Kolb saw Manuel come off after the touchdown drive and wondered if his counterpart was okay.

"When he got up from that one run you could tell when you're around a guy a lot the way he runs and the way he acts and the way he grimaces, you realized something was a little wrong," said Kolb. "When he came to the sideline he was really talking very much and I could tell something was on his mind and I just left him alone. So it wasn't a complete shock. I didn't know anything about it obviously. I think the guys around him on the sideline could tell that something was bothering him just a little bit."

With Manuel definitely out for the rest of the preseason Marrone has put the quarterback competition between Manuel and Kolb on hold.

"We're going to evaluate it after the preseason and take it day by day after that. If I didn't have to make a decision at that time and figure out which way I have to go, I've already moved on and know that Kevin is obviously going to start and play the next game with Jeff (Tuel) and move on from there. The decision was made for me."

Marrone made it clear that the best players will play, so the thought of Manuel possibly playing Week 1 against New England if he's healthy and practicing is something that Buffalo's head coach is still considering at this point.

"I look at every position and again I know that position gets a lot of attention," he said. "But it's the same thing whether it's the guard position, the tackle position, the defensive end position. We're going to put the best players out there."

At the same time Marrone also is experienced enough to know that the practice time Manuel will miss over the next two weeks will be a variable he has to consider as well. Still, when asked if the team doctors gave him any confidence that Manuel could play in the season opener, if that proved to be the head coach's decision, Marrone left the door open for his rookie quarterback to play.

"He could (be back in time)," said Marrone. "There is a good chance of that and the problem I have with that is again, a lot of it is just how he comes back. Again it's the variable thing of when he comes back and missed time… nobody really starts where they left off."

Marrone chose to keep the nature of the knee injury to himself admitting that he knows what it is.

"The consensus of what we talked about was to just say that it's been a minor procedure," he said. "So I just want to tell everyone the truth there."

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