EJ Manuel knee injuries: can the Bills bet everything on their QB?

Rick Stewart

Short of surgery to give EJ Manuel robotic knees, shouldn't the Buffalo Bills be concerned about the long-term health of their franchise quarterback hopeful?

Buffalo News reporter Tim Graham made some waves from Super Bowl XLVIII on Thursday (well, he really did it with this article making the rounds on Friday), telling Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel that he thinks the Bills should draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Graham is the story for many Bills fans today, but his opinion comes from a place of validity: should this Bills regime truly hedge their bets on Manuel, given the run of knee injuries he sustained in his rookie season?

Manuel told reporters, including Graham, on Thursday that he plans to wear a knee brace on his left knee - which was injured twice in 2013 - for the remainder of his career. Short of giving the man robotic knees, however, the Bills are risking a lot betting that Manuel's rookie-season injury issues was merely a string of bad luck, and that an offseason of strength work on his legs and the brace plans will solve the problem for good.

Then again, they're already betting a lot on Manuel anyway - we talked about what the team has done this offseason to support Manuel's physical and mental development - so perhaps they view the so-called injury problem as white noise in a larger-scale view of where they are with Manuel. And, despite Graham's viewpoint, you'll find near-universal agreement that the Bills almost certainly will not be taking a quarterback in Round 1 on May 8. That does not mean that the question changes from the fan's perspective, however, so we ask again:

Should the Bills bet everything on Manuel and his potentially bothersome knees? Or should they hedge their bets by taking another young quarterback in this year's draft? (Or, as an alternative, should they just investigate those aforementioned robotic knees?)

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