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Bills vs. Patriots: EJ Manuel a full practice participant Monday

With two practices under his belt this week and a day off to monitor the progress of his knee, Manuel has taken another step towards being in the Week 1 starting lineup.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

EJ Manuel took another step towards assuming his place as the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills by participating fully in practice on Monday.

"EJ was out there taking reps with the first group," head coach Doug Marrone said (via WGR 550). "We're going through a process. (There's) nothing right now that seems to slow him down. There's a couple of things that we're testing as the week goes on to see where he's at. Mentally, we feel fine. It's just a matter of physically. He went out there and did a nice job."

Marrone was quick to tell reporters that Jeff Tuel also took first-team reps, as the team hedges its bets on Manuel reaching full health in time for this Sunday's season opener against the New England Patriots.

The Bills had planned on Manuel taking team reps on Monday, a day after he participated in individual drills but ceded team work to Tuel. With players off on Tuesday, Manuel's health will likely be monitored closely over the next two days, before practices resume in earnest on Wednesday. Marrone said last week (and has repeated it since) that a starter will be named on Wednesday.

For now, it's looking like Manuel has a great chance of being that starter.