Third knee injury knocks EJ Manuel from lineup; Thad Lewis to start
updated 12:30 PM , June 23, 2015
For the third time in four months, Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel has been sidelined with a knee injury.
Bills coach Doug Marrone announced this afternoon Manuel won't play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins in Ralph Wilson Stadium. Backup quarterback Thad Lewis will start. Jeff Tuel will be the backup.
Marrone also announced receiver Stevie Johnson, mourning the unexpected death of his 48-year-old mother, isn't expected to play Sunday.
Marrone repeatedly declared he was "110 percent" certain Manuel would start the season finale against the New England Patriots. Marrone added the team does not believe Manuel's latest setback will require surgery.
Manuel's sprained left knee -- the same one that underwent surgery in the preseason -- was hurt late in the first half of Sunday's 27-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The injury apparently happened when a Jaguars defender hit Manuel while in the pocket.
Manuel didn't come out of the game and had a fine performance, posting a 105.0 passer rating. He reported soreness Monday morning.
Marrone said Monday the team believed Manuel's knee injury was minor, but the rookie clearly struggled with his mobility while warming up for today's practice.
A right knee injury in Week Five against the Cleveland Browns kept Manuel out of action for four games.