Nearly two weeks after injuring his LCL in a Week 5 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel finally has a timetable for his return to the practice field: four to six weeks, according to head coach Doug Marrone.
Marrone says Manuel will return in 4-6 weeks, barring setbacks— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) October 16, 2013
That 4-6 week timetable begins today, Marrone said. And it's just to return to practice. Game status determined later.— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) October 16, 2013
That means that four weeks from today - when the Bills begin preparing for a November 17 home game against the New York Jets - is the soonest that we'll see Manuel back on the practice field in Orchard Park. If things don't go well and he misses the full six weeks, he'll return to practice after the Bills' bye week, in time to perhaps start against the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto on December 1.
Manuel began rehab at the team facility on the knee this week. If things go well with his rehab and he's back on the short end of that timetable, he'll have an opportunity to start 11 games in his rookie season. Until the first-round pick is back in the lineup, the Bills will try to get by with Thad Lewis in the lineup for five to seven games.