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Jeff Tuel: Buffalo Bills Week 1 starter if EJ Manuel can't play

The hero journey for Jeff Tuel started with his senior-year benching at Washington State and going undrafted this past April. Will it end with a Week 1 win over Tom Brady?

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone is planning on starting Jeff Tuel at quarterback in Week 1 against the New England Patriots.

Marrone confirmed as much to reporters after practice on Monday. He also qualified the remarks by stating his hope that EJ Manuel, rehabbing from knee surgery, will be healthy in time to play on September 8. Marrone then confirmed the news that veteran Kevin Kolb would be out for the foreseeable future as he deals with the effects of a concussion suffered in Saturday's preseason loss to Washington.

Tuel, 22, is an undrafted free agent out of Washington State. Heading into training camp, there were doubts as to whether or not he'd even make the team, as the Bills seemed to prefer the idea of keeping two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. A strong start to the preseason made it clear that he'd make the team as a third quarterback, but clearly, the fact that he's now likely going to be squaring off against Tom Brady in his first professional start was not the team's plan by any stretch.

Through three preseason games, Tuel has completed 31-of-43 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 106.6 quarterback rating.

Get well soon, EJ - and best of luck to you, Jeff Tuel. You will probably need it.