Rookie QB returns from injury and ready to play.
The Buffalo Bills have confirmed that rookie quarterback EJ Manuel will start their season opener against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
The 23-year-old was the first quarterback chosen back in the NFL Draft 2013 in April, but underwent a minor procedure on his left knee in August and missed the last two pre-season games as a result.
However, despite claims from coach Doug Marrone last week that undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel would be expected to start the opener, Manuel returned to practice on Sunday wearing a knee brace before joining in for a full session on Monday.
It remains to be seen whether or not his knee has fully healed with the brace acting as a precaution, with the 16th overall pick desperate to impress in his first season in the league.
Manuel went for a combined 26-for-33 passing for 199 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in his first two pre-season appearances.
As a result, he will now be fully focused on building on his promising start and establishing himself as one of the more impressive rookies in the league this year.
“Each day my injury has gotten better, and I’ve been doing two or three treatments a day,” said Manuel as quoted by the official Bills website. “That’s helped me a lot.”
Manuel went on to reveal that he wasn’t surprised that he had returned ahead of schedule, as his original return date for practice had been set for Wednesday.
However, he has seemingly been given the green light and insisted that he will not think about any injuries when he is out on the field making his debut in the league.