Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Buffalo Bills starting quarterback E.J. Manuel will be sidelined an additional 4-to-6 weeks with an LCL sprain he sustained earlier this month.
Bills head coach Doug Marrone revealed Manuel's timetable during his Wednesday press conference. The promising rookie originally injured his right knee in Buffalo's 37-24 loss at Cleveland on Oct. 3 and sat out last week's game against Cincinnati as a result.
Marrone said that Manuel's best-case scenario for a return would be in four weeks, which would make him available for the Bills' home game against the AFC East-rival New York Jets on Nov. 17. Buffalo has its bye the following week.
The Bills had gone 2-2 over Manuel's first four NFL starts, with the 2013 first-round pick having completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 985 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions over his five outings prior to the injury. Manuel added 91 rushing yards on 25 attempts during that span.
Journeyman Thaddeus Lewis remains the top candidate to hold down quarterback duties during Manuel's absence, though the Bills did sign the recently released Matt Flynn on Monday.
Lewis performed well in Manuel's place during last Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Bengals, throwing for 216 yards and two touchdowns upon coming off Buffalo's practice squad.