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Thad Lewis will start for the Bills

Detroit Lions v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

The Bills lost quarterback E.J. Manuel to a knee injury last Thursday night and Jeff Tuel was unimpressive enough in relief that the team resisted naming him their starter for their Week Six date with the Bengals.

Coach Doug Marrone announced Monday morning that Tuel won’t be getting the nod. The team will promote Thad Lewis from the practice squad and install him into the starting lineup.

“Thad gives us the best chance. We’re going to give him an opportunity to see what he has,” Marrone said, via the team.

Lewis started one game for the Browns last season, a 24-10 loss to the Steelers in Week 17 that stands as his only regular season experience to this point in his career. He was 22-of-32 for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception in that game.

The Bills were reportedly in hot pursuit of Josh Freeman before Freeman decided to sign with the Vikings and the elevation of Lewis suggests Freeman would have had a good shot at stepping right into the lineup for Buffalo while Manuel is healing. Pat White might still be an option for Buffalo, but the main takeaway from the state of the position right now is that Manuel can’t get back onto the field soon enough.

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53 Responses to “Thad Lewis will start for the Bills”
  1. sammyscrawfo says: Oct 7, 2013 8:40 AM

    Fine with me. Anything but Tuel. God he was awful on Thursday

  2. ctiggs says: Oct 7, 2013 8:41 AM

    What a Jeff “TUEL”.

  3. billsboy88 says: Oct 7, 2013 8:42 AM

    Word is there are a lot of tickets left unsold for this weekend. This announcement is not going to help with that.

    EJ should call up Ray Lewis’ deer antler spray guy

  4. jgedgar70 says: Oct 7, 2013 8:42 AM

    I didn’t watch much of the Thursday night game, but Tuel must have been pretty awful for the Bills to turn to a Duke QB.

  5. dspyank2k11 says: Oct 7, 2013 8:42 AM

    Is it time to start talking about the offseason in Buffalo?

    Hurry back EJ

  6. buffalohogan says: Oct 7, 2013 8:43 AM

    It’s not an ideal situation for the Bills (DUH!), but this make sense. Thad looked promising with only 5 days on the team in preseason week 4. Now it’s week 6 and he has had time to learn the playbook. He will get first team reps this week. I hate to say this but Thad gives us a better chance than Jeff. In fact I would say Thad with 8 weeks of the system under his belt is better than anyone they could have gotten off the street to be an immediate starter.

    I don’t like it, but it’s a prudent decision.

  7. natijim235 says: Oct 7, 2013 8:46 AM

    who dey!

  8. hottubtodd says: Oct 7, 2013 8:50 AM

    Thank goodness I didn’t throw away my Thad Lewis Jersey.

  9. theroc5156 says: Oct 7, 2013 8:56 AM

    The Bengals are actually pretty bad against rookie QB’s.

    This one scares me.

  10. theroc5156 says: Oct 7, 2013 8:56 AM

    Yes, I know he’s not technically a rookie.

  11. kremis says: Oct 7, 2013 9:06 AM

    when he found out he told his mom “Thad’s right mom, I’m starting”

  12. @Cereal_22 says: Oct 7, 2013 9:10 AM

    Guys named Thad typically are not successful.

  13. nesportsfan0428 says: Oct 7, 2013 9:11 AM

    Is this the Thad from Blue Mountain State?

  14. RetardotheGreat says: Oct 7, 2013 9:12 AM

    We will give you Gabbert and 10,000,000 for Jeff Truel.

    Signed,

    Fan of the Worst team in the history of Sports.

  15. maxkingpin says: Oct 7, 2013 9:21 AM

    Thad Lewis starting?
    It is amazing how poor the group of FA QBs is for this to happen.

  16. ridnaway says: Oct 7, 2013 9:28 AM

    Mike Zimmer is a great Defensive coach. But his record against no name QB’s is abysmal. Combine that with the inevitable let down the Bengals young team will have after a big win against the Pats, and the fact that no matter how bad your new QB is he’s still better than BadAndy, and Buffalo gets this win.

  17. EJ says: Oct 7, 2013 9:29 AM

    Everybody has a bad day and Thursday was that day for Tuel. What I don’t understand is the demotion after 2 1/2 quarters of football? He apparently wasn’t prepared to come in and play, but I know that was not his ceiling. All preseason long Tuel was putting up drives that even EJ Manuel struggled with. Heck, they were thinking about rolling with him for the first game of the season against the Patriots, why the sudden dis-belief? IMO, the team has just cut his legs right out from under him and taken any bit of confidence right away. One bad game does not equal a failure in my eyes. Take a look at Tom Brady yesterday, but you would never think of sitting him over Ryan Mallett right? I have to give the team a thumbs down on this move, It just makes no sense.

  18. skoobyfl says: Oct 7, 2013 9:34 AM

    Discounts a plenty for tickets this weekend.

  19. titusyoungslegalcounsel says: Oct 7, 2013 9:37 AM

    Tuel blows. He was a camp arm who played because of Kolbs injury. He should never see the field

  20. stabbymike says: Oct 7, 2013 9:46 AM

    lewis isnt a bad qb. given the chance to start he could surprise a lot of people. did that with cleveland last year. if he was as bad as people are saying then he wouldnt be up for the starting job.

  21. whodeybacker says: Oct 7, 2013 9:51 AM

    Getting punched in the mouth all day makes any QB mediocre. Brady or otherwise. Betting this kid gets a total of 8 hrs sleep this week. Bengals should get 2 more starters back on defense this week. BUT we still have a Dalton FACTOR going on so who knows. Im not counting this a win just yet.

  22. zonedogz says: Oct 7, 2013 10:14 AM

    Tuel is a project and making him EJ’s backup put him in a position to fail without the first team reps which is obviously hindsight to everyone now. Short of a trade (Byrd) for a quality backup with experience that could step in and play right away…Lewis provides the athletism necessary to hopefully be able to make plays for the offense and keep the team competetive over the next 4-8 weeks while EJ is out. The Bills are only looking for a caretaker at the postion.Pat White would’ve been in the same situation except with some starting experience.

  23. panthers34 says: Oct 7, 2013 10:16 AM

    He was a bright spot on some bad Duke teams.

  24. honkeyt says: Oct 7, 2013 10:21 AM

    Lead them to victory, Bluedevil!

  25. selbyrj82 says: Oct 7, 2013 10:31 AM

    EJ says:
    Oct 7, 2013 9:29 AM
    Everybody has a bad day and Thursday was that day for Tuel. What I don’t understand is the demotion after 2 1/2 quarters of football? He apparently wasn’t prepared to come in and play, but I know that was not his ceiling. All preseason long Tuel was putting up drives that even EJ Manuel struggled with
    …………………………………..
    Tuel was effective against Indy and Minnesota in the 4th quarter of preseason games. Aka against 3rd or even 4th stringers- against guys who, if they even made the team this year, are almost guarenteed not see the field. Tuel also came in in the second quarter against the Skins and looked terrible, against their second stringers. And the Skins defense is one of the worst in the leauge.

    Thursday he played against a good but not great defense on the road and looked like crap. And that was the real Tuel. Thad Lewis may not be a God-send but he’s at least started games for teams. You’re out of your mind if you truthfully dont believe this is the obvious option given the 2 of them.

  26. thegrey7 says: Oct 7, 2013 10:34 AM

    Maybe Buffalo should have kept T-Joke to backup Manuel.

  27. bengalguy says: Oct 7, 2013 10:38 AM

    Give me a break! The front 4 will murder this guy. Bengals 24-buffalo 10. Won’t even be that close……Who Dey!

  28. whodeybacker says: Oct 7, 2013 11:00 AM

    Hope u are right Bengalguy. Yesterday was pretty intense wasnt it? Score should not have been that close.

  29. jwil007 says: Oct 7, 2013 11:31 AM

    Bengalguy, relax! We havent won in Buffalo since the Egyptian empire….from a few thousand years ago…. We also give rookie QB’s their path to the NFL…ie Favre, TJ Yates, Weeden, and no names…Hoyer… So lets be humble…We are 0-2 on the road and they have 2 dynamic backs and a WR who is pretty good in Johnson…Bills have our number in their house…. We better not take them lightly! Last trap game a few weeks ago we got smacked in the mouth! Lets HOPE we do what you say our front 4 will do on the road! Who Dey!

  30. obamareallysucks says: Oct 7, 2013 11:40 AM

    another rooney special loser!

  31. phil954 says: Oct 7, 2013 11:43 AM

    If he leads us to a win when they come down here to Miami I will LOVE the move. Tired of going to the game every year and being laughed at. Time we start getting respect again.

  32. jerze2387 says: Oct 7, 2013 11:57 AM

    Isnt Brad Smith still on the Bills? He could start…

  33. no1billsfan says: Oct 7, 2013 11:59 AM

    Who Dey?! Dey da team dat all dressed up like a bunch’a 2-bit strippers in their classes tiger-stripped uniforms. Da team dat has never won anything… ever…. Da team dat will get crushed by da Buffalo front seven dis sunday. God Bless the Buffalo Bills!

  34. jgedgar70 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:05 PM

    RetardotheGreat says:
    Oct 7, 2013 9:12 AM
    We will give you Gabbert and 10,000,000 for Jeff Truel.

    Signed,

    Fan of the Worst team in the history of Sports
    _____
    I got an NBA team here in Charlotte that will argue that prety convincingly.

  35. stevet321 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:30 PM

    Nothing against T. Lewis, good luck to him….but this is when the Bills preseason trade should have been for K. Moore instead. He would really help them out right now.

  36. jedimasterbates says: Oct 7, 2013 12:30 PM

    Jeff Tuel, a mostly unknown rookie QB, who has never played a down in a regular season game, is asked to step in and play on the road against a decent team, the Browns. He doesn’t look so hot, and now people are saying “he was awful, he doesn’t have it”. Yeah, I really expected the guy to hit the field and look like the second coming of Joe Montana. Whatever happened to letting a QB actually play a few games, maybe… gasp… an ENTIRE season before you write him off. The league and fans are so quick to write off QBs if they don’t perform immediately. Not every rookie is going to step in (Luck, Wilson, RG3, Roethlisberger) and play right away at a pro bowl level. Give him a real shot to see if he’s got the mojo. Ridiculous.

  37. deeboy says: Oct 7, 2013 12:35 PM

    Thad Lewis is a tough SOB. He was abused in college behind a pitiful offensive line for 4 years at Duke, yet still managed to throw for more than 10K yards. Every chance he’s had to play in preseason and his 1 regular season start, he’s performed well.

    He’s not going to light the world on fine, but he’s good enough to be a backup at worst in this league.

  38. rabidbillsfan says: Oct 7, 2013 12:36 PM

    Fans can be so ignorant. Lets check off a few nonense complaints. “Why didn’t the Bills have a viable vetran backup for Maneul?!” They did, his name was Kevin Kolb and he suffered a concussion and was lost for the season, then they ended up with Leinhart and Lewis, Lewis being the “less bad” of the 2. “Why was Tuel on the roster if he was this bad?!” Tuel had enough of a following that had the Bills try to stash him on the practice squad, he would have been snatched up in minutes on the waiver wire. He is a developmental guy, will be a good backup in this leauge, just not now. “Why not have Lewis back up Tuel?!” Lewis’ skill set is identical to Manuel, albeit a bit smaller, the offense doesn’t change with Lewis in the game out side of checks and line calls. “What about Pat White?!” You should be smacked for even mentioning his name, I will not attend the game if Pat White somehow ends up behind center. Now that those are out of the way, Lewis played well for Clevland against a good Pittsburgh defense. He has more weapons here in Buffalo than what he had at the end of the season last season in Clevland. He’s also running the same offense, it was tweaked in that last game against the Steelers for him because of the diffrence between Weeden and Lewis. Marrone is right, Lewis gives us the best chance to win right now, until he doesn’t. The Bengals also haven’t lit the world on fire either, their front 7 is awesome, but there are 15 other starters that need to show up, and it’s been hit or miss this season. If there was ever a game for Byrd to come back, this is it, although with the trade rumors, I bet he sits to avoid injury. Hopefully our own #legend can make Dalton feel like he’s seeing a Black and Gold 43 on Sunday.

  39. jonevans511 says: Oct 7, 2013 12:40 PM

    It baffles me that no teams (that I know of) with QB issues have reached out to the Skins for our third stringer Rex Grossman. I get it, he’s not even close to a stud, but he’s a guy that you could start the next week and expect a least an average performance. If a team like the Bills, who have some weapons including two solid RBs, start a guy like Grossman they’d be in a position to stay competitive. Grossman is also a great mentor for younger players and could help EJ through the bumps in the road. Just a thought.

  40. bengalsucker says: Oct 7, 2013 12:46 PM

    I don’t see how Bengal fans are on here saying that we have this game in the bag. I’m a Bengals fan and I know we don’t. You do remember the horrid record we have against no-name QB’s right? Gradkowski used to eat us alive when he was with TB and the Raiders. T.J. Yates ring a bell? How about Hoyer? For some reason our D shows up for good QB’s but seems to fall off for no-name QB’s. This worries me especially after a big win against Brady and the Pats. And we are 0-2 on the road? This is definitely a game I worry about.

  41. realitypolice says: Oct 7, 2013 12:48 PM

    I wondered why the Bills didn’t pursue Freeman. It all makes perfect sense now. They had Thad Lewis stashed on the practice squad.

    Those sneaky geniuses.

  42. kylexitron says: Oct 7, 2013 12:55 PM

    So let me get this straight

    A guy on your practice squad is better than the guy you had ready to step in if your starter went down?

    So basically you’re admitting you really don’t know what you’re doing with your roster from the get-go?

    Okay then.

  43. chiadam says: Oct 7, 2013 12:57 PM

    The punter’s leg is going to fall off.

  44. mclennon99 says: Oct 7, 2013 1:21 PM

    Something that’s not getting mentioned here is that upon early reviews of our new rookie QB, we may have an injury prone guy here. Talent wise the kid has shown a lot of promise but two significant injuries within a month of each other is not good and I truly hope he’s not another wasted high round draft pick. As for a back up QB, I was shocked when Marrone announced Lewis would start. At 2-2, I didn’t think he’s give up on the season so early. Why not re-sign someone like Vince Young who looked good in preseason with Green Bay? Speaking of GB….I wonder what Brett Favre’s up to these days? Hmmmm…….

  45. kosarsmyidol says: Oct 7, 2013 1:27 PM

    As a Cleveland fan who was impressed by Lewis, I’m hoping and expecting that he does well. He’s a gamer.

  46. ghostofgilchrist says: Oct 7, 2013 1:36 PM

    Based on what we saw in the preseason, Tuel is better than what he showed last week…I think he’d improve with a week of practice.

    Lewis has shown some ability, and is probably better at running for his life, which I expect was the tiebreaker.

  47. selbyrj82 says: Oct 7, 2013 1:42 PM

    jedimasterbates says:
    Oct 7, 2013 12:30 PM
    Whatever happened to letting a QB actually play a few games, maybe… gasp… an ENTIRE season before you write him off.
    ……………………..
    That thought is right in theory but it doesnt pertain to the situation the Bills find themselves in right now. Theyre not looking for a guy to work out the kinks and mistakes he will make as a young QB. THat’s why they drafted EJ. EJ is their guy. Now that hes hurt the purpose is to find a backup who can keep them afloat and in the hunt until they get their guy back. Going with an undrafted rookie who is raw and needs development contradicts the very definition of the word backup.

    Tuel shouldnt necesarily be written off, he’s just not right for the situation they have now. Backups can shoulder the load based on proven experience when starters go down. Hence, given he has no experience, Tuel is therefore not a sutiable backup.

  48. nickaroo77 says: Oct 7, 2013 1:57 PM

    Would trading Byrd for a quality veteran ‘back up’ type QB be out of the question? Matt Schaub is on a short leash,and though he’s not the same type of player as EJ, he does provide good leadership and a stop-gap for Buffalo’s troubles. And don’t mention about Schaub choking in the playoffs,I hope I’m wrong,but I think the Bills will be hard pressed getting in this season… #BillsMafia

  49. realitypolice says: Oct 7, 2013 2:37 PM

    jedimasterbates says:
    Oct 7, 2013 12:30 PM
    Whatever happened to letting a QB actually play a few games, maybe… gasp… an ENTIRE season before you write him off.

    =====

    This really isn’t a relevant point here. The Bills aren’t trying to develop a QB. They are trying to find a guy that gives them the best chance to win right now for a few weeks until Manuel gets back, and it makes perfect sense that Lewis is that guy more than Tuel simply because he has more experience.

    They may like Tuel more long term, but right now at 2-3 they still have a fighting shot (at least they think they do) and they don’t have time to let Tuel get comfortable. Lewis was 22 of 32 for 204 yards against the top ranked defense in the league last year, and the quite rightly see him a slightly better option.

  50. EJ says: Oct 7, 2013 5:35 PM

    selbyrj82 says:
    Oct 7, 2013 10:31 AM

    EJ says:
    Oct 7, 2013 9:29 AM
    Everybody has a bad day and Thursday was that day for Tuel. What I don’t understand is the demotion after 2 1/2 quarters of football? He apparently wasn’t prepared to come in and play, but I know that was not his ceiling. All preseason long Tuel was putting up drives that even EJ Manuel struggled with
    …………………………………..
    Tuel was effective against Indy and Minnesota in the 4th quarter of preseason games. Aka against 3rd or even 4th stringers- against guys who, if they even made the team this year, are almost guarenteed not see the field. Tuel also came in in the second quarter against the Skins and looked terrible, against their second stringers. And the Skins defense is one of the worst in the leauge.

    Thursday he played against a good but not great defense on the road and looked like crap. And that was the real Tuel. Thad Lewis may not be a God-send but he’s at least started games for teams. You’re out of your mind if you truthfully dont believe this is the obvious option given the 2 of them.
    =================================================
    Nothing against Thad Lewis, but wasn’t he on the practice squad for a reason? Jeff Tuel wouldn’t last a few days on the practice squad, some team would scoop him up, because he has potential. Potential that the Bills just helped destroy. He fought his way onto the roster and into the backup QB spot, only to be leaped by a player from the practice squad. I understand your point that Lewis has started before, therefore seems to be the better guy to go with, but then why name Tuel Manuel’s backup to begin with? Apparently in the eyes of the coaching staff Tuel was a better player than Lewis, otherwise they would have cut him instead. That is what makes no sense. At least give your backup QB a clear shot before throwing in a player you just cut not too long ago. They might as well bring back Trent Edwards or JP Losman, even that to me would make more sense, but again we are talking about the same staff that cut Moorman for a terrible rookie, only to bring him back a few months later. I have been following this team for twenty some years and have never seen so many un-admitted mistakes in one season.

  51. coachbeck says: Oct 8, 2013 1:55 AM

    Bengals fan here. Shouldn’t change out gameplay much anyway. Stop the run. If the bills can beat us airing it out then so be it. We should have our best pass rusher and best cover corner back from injury this week. So good luck to Thad Lewis.

    Also how’s Manny Lawson doing for you up there Bills fans? He barely played here so it’s nice to see him getting some reps up there.

  52. selbyrj82 says: Oct 8, 2013 11:21 AM

    EJ says:
    Oct 7, 2013 5:35 PM
    Nothing against Thad Lewis, but wasn’t he on the practice squad for a reason? Jeff Tuel wouldn’t last a few days on the practice squad, some team would scoop him up, because he has potential.
    —————————
    Dude, it’s borderline painful to see how you’re totally missing the point here. No one is saying Tuel doesnt have potential. But the other night was obvious that in order to reach that potential he’ll need to to work out the kinks and suffer through a few bad games. THe Bills current situation doesnt leave them with any sort of time for that, meanwhile a guy like Lewis has played and doesnt have as many kinks to work out. Therefore, Lewis is the clear-cut right desicion here.

  53. rabidbillsfan says: Oct 8, 2013 7:14 PM

    @EJ

    I agree with Selbyr, it is painful to see you talk yourself in circles over this matter. I didn’t think I could expalin it anymore clear in my previous comment, but I guess it needs a bit more. Plain and simple, who do you cut at the end of the Pre-Season to carry 3 QB’s on the active roster? And no, I’m not talking about right now, this is at the end of August, right before final cuts, what position were we set at so we could carry a 3rd QB? Tuel goes through waivers and he’s claimed, it was going to happen. Lewis will pass through waivers, and did. I think this was Marrones plan all along, atleast after he found out Kolb was done. Which also circles me back to the reason why another veteran guy wasn’t signed, they would not have practice squad eligibility. Who gets the axe for the 3rd QB spot? Please, please, just stop with the nonsense people, pointing to the pre-season for anything is an absolute waste of time, remember how bad the Jets QB situation was going to be? The Bills did the best thing for this team, and I can assure you that after the season, Tuel will be relgated to practice squad and a QB will be picked up in the off-season, it could even be Thad Lewis for all we know.

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