With Bills starting quarterback EJ Manuel on the shelf for a few weeks with a knee injury, Buffalo will have a new signal caller against the Bengals in nine days' time, but it won't necessarily be backup QB Jeff Tuel.
That according to head coach Doug Marrone, who is keeping all his options open, with the club currently combing free agency for a competent fit for their offensive scheme.
When asked if it would be a stretch for a newly signed quarterback to start next week, Marrone would not rule it out.
"No, that's not a stretch," he said. "No, it's not. I think it all depends on who it is and what we get and what their background is in their system."
RELATED: Confidence in QB Tuel
Tuel, who went 8-for-20 passing for 80 yards and an interception in relief of Manuel Thursday night, was thrust into a difficult situation getting virtually no reps in a short week. But the rookie was making no excuses as he's committed to improving off of the substitute duty he had in Cleveland.
"I'm going to continue to get better off of that more than anything, just by experience," Tuel said. "There's obviously some plays I want back and some things I want to do better. I'm going to meet with Coach (Nathaniel) Hackett, watch the film and just get better. Any little thing I can do to get better I'm going to do it."
"I like Tuel. I think he's a good player," said Bills center Eric Wood. "Obviously it's tough for a backup to come in, primetime game on the road midway through the game when everyone is kind of in a rhythm already. And credit him he showed poise and he's going to give it his all and I have a lot of confidence in Jeff as a player."
While Marrone has left the door open for a newly signed quarterback to start he also said that Tuel could still be the starter a week from Sunday.
"I would say it's possible in what we do, only because we're going through the process right now," he said. "By the end of the weekend I'll have a lot better feel of what we're trying to accomplish in who we bring in."
Tuel, who plans to get some extra work in this weekend, won't know where he stands until a new quarterback is added. But after holding down the starting role when Manuel was out for a couple of weeks in the preseason Tuel feels he's more than capable of doing it again in games that count.
"In the beginning of the year, when I was called to start against the Patriots if EJ couldn't go, they assured me and said that they felt really comfortable with me," he said. "We'll meet with them and see what happens."