Matt Flynn is starting to have the journeyman backup vibe these days, as the Buffalo Bills have decided to release Flynn after he spent less than a month as the team’s backup quarterback. In fact, he was probably their fourth-string QB behind the injured E.J. Manuel, the recently injured Thad Lewis, and undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel, who made the start over Flynn yesterday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Flynn’s release is encouraging news for the chances of E.J. Manuel playing this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, because he has been cleared to practice today. Bills head coach Doug Marrone will make the call on whether or not Manuel will be able to play against the Steelers, and the Bills organization won’t risk rushing Manuel back too soon. However, all the signs look good for Manuel, because the fact that Flynn’s release has come on the same day that Manuel has been cleared to practice is too strong of a correlation to be a mere coincidence. These two events are most likely related, and the Bills wouldn’t release Flynn if they didn’t have strong indications that either Lewis or Manuel will start this week.
It’s a lock that the Steelers will see one of those two starters, and they have both been the most effective options for the Bills to this point. The best case scenario for the Bills has Manuel practicing all week without any setbacks before ultimately going full speed on the final day of practice before the game against the Steelers. I would pencil in Manuel as the starter for this week, with Lewis also most likely healthy enough to play.
Flynn will likely get signed by another team as a third-string backup, and he’ll have to prove his health, arm strength, and poise in order to have a shot at competing for a starting gig in the future. He seems like an awfully nice guy and I loved watching him at LSU, but he has a lot to prove right now.