Buffalo’s Manuel out ‘few weeks’ as Bills scramble

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel has a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his right knee that will not require surgery but will sideline him at least two weeks and potentially longer, coach Doug Marrone said Friday.

Manuel was injured in the third quarter of Buffalo’s 37-24 loss at Cleveland on Thursday, when he was hit by Browns safety Tashaun Gipson at the end of a 14-yard run.

Marrone said it is too early to determine an exact timetable for Manuel’s return.

“What we need right now is for it to calm down, see where we’re at,” Marrone said, “see where he’s at in probably a week to see how it’s progressing, where he is, then get it down in to a little bit more of a window.”

Rookie Jeff Tuel came in for Manuel but was ineffective, completing 8 of 20 passes for 80 yards.

Marrone said the Bills (2-3) will look into acquiring another quarterback and did not rule out the possibility of that player starting Buffalo’s next game Oct. 13 at Cincinnati (2-2).

Manuel had already gained a first down on the play on which he was hurt, but Marrone defended the quarterback’s decision not to slide.

“This one (Thursday) night was a tough situation because I really don’t think he saw the guy coming to the inside until late,” Marrone said. “You see him get the first down and you see him trying to get as much as you can and then try to protect himself.”

After hitting Manuel, Gipson pumped his fist and stared in the direction of the quarterback on the ground. Bills center Eric Wood called some Browns players “classless” for the way they reacted to Manuel’s injury.

“The hit was fine,” Wood said. “What ticked me off was the way they acted afterwards. I hope our defense never acts like that when they injure an opposing quarterback because you’ve got to show some class in that situation.

“There’s a few guys over there that obviously didn’t.”

Wood singled out Browns safety T.J. Ward, claiming he told Bills rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso, Ward’s former teammate at Oregon, that he should have warned Manuel that Cleveland’s defense was coming after him.

“That is completely inaccurate,” Ward said on a conference call. “I did speak to Kiko and he went to Oregon with me. But anytime a player gets hurt, you never praise or root for players to get hurt. It’s competitive sport, a violent sport, but when you see players go down, no way in any shape or form it’s a celebration.”

In the first quarter, Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer suffered what ended up being a season-ending knee injury when he got his leg caught underneath him in a slide and was hit near the head by Alonso. Several Browns wanted a penalty called on the hit.

“I don’t think there was any intention there,” Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski said. “Brian was sliding. It was just an unfortunate thing. I think his cleat got caught up underneath him.”

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