Buffalo Bills starting QB E.J. Manuel left Thursday night’s loss with a knee injury, which has been diagnosed as an LCL sprain with a rough timeline of 4-8 weeks, based on the aggregation of several reports from yesterday. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says that he’s hearing E.J. Manuel will miss around six weeks, which is a number that is right in the middle of that rough timeline. While the Cleveland Browns are definitely not looking at Josh Freeman as an option following Brian Hoyer’s season-ending ACL tear in the same game, Rapoport reports that the Bills are keeping their options wide open.
The way I see it, the Bills are considering Freeman since he is an option, but I highly doubt they are giving him serious thought. The Bills will look to the free agent market for an interim starter, or even a backup if they want to start UDFA Jeff Tuel. It’s slim pickings on the free agent quarterback market, so the Bills definitely have their work cut out for them.
E.J. Manuel could either miss just four weeks if all heals up as quickly as Doug Marrone and the Bills are hoping, or he could miss eight weeks if this knee injury is more severe than early indications. Six weeks seems like the safe bet at this point, but the biggest task for the Bills is to find their starter now. At least they have a long week to get the new guy acclimated before facing the Cincinnati Bengals.