Doug Marrone on rookie QB EJ Manuel: 'He's not injury-prone'
updated 3:28 PM , December 18, 2013
EJ Manuel is coming off perhaps his most satisfying game.
He notched the first road victory of his career Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. He got better as the afternoon unfolded. His 105.0 passer rating was the second-highest of his rookie campaign. He ran for a touchdown.
He also hurt one of his knees. Again.
For the third time in four months, a knee injury will sideline Manuel. Bills coach Doug Marrone announced this afternoon Thad Lewis will start Sunday versus the Miami Dolphins in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Can a quarterback hurt so frequently be considered a future franchise quarterback?
I asked Marrone how he would respond to the notion Manuel is injury-prone.
"Obviously, people are going to think that and write that," Marrone said. "I totally understand that. But from my personal opinion, he's not injury-prone.
"His history has shown that he's never been hurt. He's gotten hurt here, yes. He re-injured that left knee that he hurt in training camp. When he has been injured, he has done everything he's could to come back faster than what was expected, faster than what was possible."
Manuel finished Sunday's game with no visible signs of trouble, but he apparently sprained his left knee late in the first half. The Bills considered Manuel's injury minor on Monday, but the coaches and medial staff saw Manuel was incapable of executing the necessary footwork.
"There was swelling on the knee," Marrone said. "We were not able to get that swelling to respond with the treatments the way we wanted.
"He was able to throw the ball in the pocket, but the stability in that knee, with the swelling, he does not have the escapability or the ability to run after the fake or zone read or those type of things we feel are important for us to win."
Manuel previously injured his left knee in the preseason and missed the final two exhibition games.
He suffered a right knee injury in Week Five while scrambling against the Cleveland Browns. He missed the next four games.
Marrone said he's "110 percent confident" Manuel will play in the Dec. 29 season final against the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium.
Marrone added there's no reason to shut down Manuel to avoid another injury because live snaps are too important for the rookie quarterback's development.