What a wild 3 days it has been in Buffalo and the Bills dont have too many positives coming out of the weekend that saw some very notable injuries. Nothing in the game against the Redskins on Saturday went right for the Bills from the score on the board to the health of their roster.
Kevin Kolb in his 2nd start since recovering from his recent battle with a wet rubber mat took a knee to the back of the helmet and suffered a serious concussion. The Bills were already down a quarterback with expected starter EJ Manuel already out day to day with a knee injury, which left undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel at the top of the depth chart with their next best options being either Brad Smith or Freddy Jackson.
The Bills wasted no time in adding 2 quarterbacks on Sunday signing free agent veteran Matt Leinart after working him out along with John Beck. They soon after traded linebacker Chris White to the Detroit Lions for Thaddeus Lewis who was nowhere close to making the roster for his former team. As it stands now if EJ Manuel is unable to return to practice in time to play week one Jeff Tuel is the Bills most sensible option.
I get the sense that EJ Manuel is not recovering as well as they hoped as head coach Doug Marrone stated Monday the plan at this time is to start Jeff Tuel week 1 against the Pats.
If Tuel plays week 1 it will be the first time since 1967 an undrafted rookie started at quarterback in a season opener. Tuel has been impressive throughout preseason and I expect him to play very well this Thursday against the Lions.
The Bills lost top cornerback Stephon Gilmore for 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist and underwent surgery on Monday. Da’Norris Searcy who has made a handfull of nice plays this pre-season also went down with a head injury further crippling our depth at defense. It is a major blow to our defense and it takes a decent sized chunk out of our defensive talent.
Monday also brought the news of 5 players waived to meet the mandatory roster size in which it was qute a surprise to many after Da’Rick Rogers was released. I personally seen it coming after head coach Doug Marrone was seen giving him the business about not performing up to par with what they expected from him. After Rogers didnt get a single snap in Saturdays game against the Redskins there was no doubt he was soon to be released. The remaining players waived by the Bills on Monday were DB Dominique Ellis, CB Jumal Rolle, WR DeMarco Sampson, and C Ryan Turnley.
The news wasnt all bad on Monday as the Bills best free saftey Jarius Byrd returned to practice after holding out the entire duration of training camp. With just a few short days before the Detroit game on Thursday it be interesting to see if he sees any playing time. Coach Marrone said he doesnt think Byrd will see any action but i wouldnt be surprised to see him get a snap or 2.
Lets hope things settle down a little bit and we escape this final preseason game without any further injuries. Both Matt Leinart and Thad Lewis will be playing so it will be interesting to see how they play in a system they have had less than a week to take in. All we Bills can do now is just wait and see what happens next, go Bills!