The main backup to quarterback EJ Manuel in 2013 is now out of a job.
Just two days before the team's preseason finale, the Buffalo Bills have released quarterback Thad Lewis from the roster on Tuesday. Lewis had been in a battle with second-year quarterback Jeff Tuel all summer to be Manuel's backup in 2014, but struggled so much that the franchise decided to look elsewhere.
"It's tough," head coach Doug Marrone said. "Thad, think about it this time last year, he just arrived and really did a nice job for us. He went in there and played his butt off and I don't think anyone would ever question how tough he is and the job that he's done. He won a couple games for us and we were hoping that that would be the case this year. But in our opinion, we have to go out there and get someone better."
The Bills had the flexibility to release Lewis once they brought in former Chicago Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer, who will sign with the team according to a league source. Palmer will compete with Tuel to be Manuel's primary backup for the upcoming season.
Lewis started five games for Buffalo in 2013 while Manuel had to sit due to knee injuries. He went 2-3 with both his victories coming against the Miami Dolphins.
The Bills initially acquired Lewis in a trade with Detroit shortly before their final preseason game in 2013. He was added to the practice squad for the start of the regular season, activated upon Manuel's injury against Cleveland in 2013, and then was immediately placed in the starting lineup.
With the corresponding moves, the team's active roster remains at 75.