E.J. Manuel has had a lot of time to himself with the first team at Bills practice this week, but it looks like his counterpart in the team’s quarterback competition will be back sooner rather than later.
Bills coach Doug Marrone said Thursday that he expected Kevin Kolb to make his return from a family funeral on Thursday night and join the rest of the team at St. John Fisher for practice on Friday. Marrone said that he’s spoken to the quarterback, who says his knee is feeling better after an ill-fated run-in with a rubber mat.
“I communicated with Kevin and he said he worked out and did what he had to do from rehabilitation stand point, so he felt good, really good,” Marrone said, via the team’s website. “So, again, Kevin is that type of guy to be the tough kid, so it’s just a matter of when he comes back in, our doctors will look at him. We’re still planning on him hitting the ground sometime late tonight and being here sometime tomorrow.”
Marrone said he wouldn’t make any decision about Kolb’s status for Sunday’s preseason opener against the Colts until he has a chance to see him on the field, so we won’t know until at least Friday if his return will impact Manuel’s playing time. Marrone has said that he sees no reason to rush to name a starting quarterback, which means any results from Sunday will simply be fodder for the eventual decision.
Manuel has drawn praise from Marrone and General Manager Doug Whaley in the last week for his performance thus far, a development that puts pressure on Kolb to make up for the lost time because teams don’t draft quarterbacks in the first round to have them carry clipboards any longer than necessary.