Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan has made it sound like EJ Manuel is no longer in contention for the starting quarterback job at the AFC East team.
Since the beginning of training camp, the Bills have had three possible starting quarterbacks on their roster, Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor, and Manuel. When I say starting quarterback, I use that term loosely, as I don’t believe any of these quarterbacks could start at any other team in the NFL.
Nevertheless, it seems that Manuel’s chances of starting week one of the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts are over. The 2013 first round pick was asked to train with the third-team players whilst Taylor and Cassel split the snaps with the first team during their practice on Sunday.
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If you read in-between the lines of what Ryan said after their practice on Sunday, it further excludes Manuel from the starting quarterback discussion.
He said according to The Buffalo News: "He's going to get the majority of the game running with that group this second preseason game, so that's the reasoning behind it. Does that mean he won't get the two reps? No. It doesn't mean that at all, but (it's what) we wanted to do. We're going to put Tyrod in and mix in Matt. As the week goes on, don't be surprised if (Manuel) does get some two's."
We know Taylor will be starting the Bills’ next preseason game against the Cleveland Browns with Cassel being inserted in later, meaning Manuel will be the last quarterback in the game like he was against the Carolina Panthers.
Despite Ryan also saying for reporters to not ‘look into anything’ too deeply, and saying ‘it's been the same type of rotation for probably three weeks’, I still believe the book is already closed on Manuel’s starting chances and when they give him reps with the first team, it’s just out of respect to the fact he was only drafted in the first round two years ago.
Manuel only completed four of his eight passes against the Panthers, but he did pass a 51-yard touchdown to Deonte Thompson.