Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel may be out a bit longer than "a few weeks" with a sprained lateral collateral ligament. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, he's hearing that six weeks is a more realistic timetable for Manuel's return - unless he's a fast healer, and can make it back in four.
On #Bills QB EJ Manuel: My understanding is 6 weeks is a solid estimation of his absence. Could be 4 if he heals quick. Could be more tho.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 4, 2013
WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia, citing a league source, reports essentially the same thing - that Manuel could be back in four weeks, but may be out for another two or more weeks beyond that.
The initial timeline of "a few weeks" came from head coach Doug Marrone, who first told reporters on Friday that Manuel would be reassessed at that point, then stated that it could be a week before a firm timetable is known.
"EJ Manuel has a lateral collateral ligament, an LCL, which is non-surgical," Marrone said. "We think it'll be a few weeks, and we'll reevaluate him then. Obviously, we expect him back somewhere during the season."
Marrone would later continue: "I think it's early on now to really give you an exact time frame, or even a window. What we need right now is for it to calm down, see where he's at probably in a week to see how it's progressing, where he is. Then get it down into a little bit more of a window. That's the truth."
We know, also, that the Bills will be acquiring a quarterback from outside the organization this weekend. While we wait for that to happen, let's hope that the timeline for Manuel's recovery doesn't slide any further into the future than the 6-8 weeks - four if they're lucky - that it looks like right now.