The Buffalo Bills were hopeful that quarterback Thad Lewis would be able to play this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, but a rib injury has caused Lewis to be listed doubtful for today’s game. There was some optimism that Lewis would play if he practiced on Friday, but he barely practiced on Friday and was listed doubtful; it is rare that a player listed doubtful is active on gameday. So the Bills had to make a decision to turn to either UDFA rookie Jeff Tuel or veteran backup Matt Flynn, with Tuel looking like the favorite to start. Lewis is technically a backup, but he was serviceable in starting the past three games for first-round rookie E.J. Manuel and also seems to be a significantly better option over both Tuel and Flynn.
According to CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora, the Bills will start Tuel today against the Chiefs and will use Flynn as their backup. Lewis’s absence would be a huge blow for the Bills offense, because neither Tuel nor Flynn can be trusted to play an efficient ballgame. Hopefully, Tuel can handle pressure better than Flynn, because the Chiefs pass rush is dynamic in every sense of the word. Dontari Poe, Justin Houston, and Tamba Hali have been playing at All-Pro levels this season, and they have the luxury of facing another new QB.
Tuel came into the game in Week 5 when Manuel went down with a knee injury, and he promptly played a horrendous game. The Cleveland Browns defense is tough, but the Chiefs defense is even better. Against the Browns, Tuel was just 8-20 with 80 yards and one interception. So yeah, Tuel averaged four yards per attempt and also threw a pick. On the bright side, he had an excellent preseason, so hopefully he can surprise some people today. Don’t bet on it, though, and the Bills best bet at winning is using their star running back tandem (fingers crossed that C.J. Spiller is fully back on track).