Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- EJ Manuel was back on the field for the Buffalo Bills.
While that sentence might not mean what some fans of the team want it to, the latest development in Manuel's rehabilitation process is notable. For the first time since suffering a LCL sprain in his left knee, the rookie quarterback resumed on-field work for the Bills on Wednesday.
"EJ was cleared to go on the field today, so we're working with him," head coach Doug Marrone said after the session. "It's good. He looks good out there."
In the amount of time the media is allowed to see practice, Manuel practiced dropbacks, handoffs and even took some repetitions during the 'routes versus air' drill with receivers. Although the progress has been made, Marrone shut down the notion that he would be ready to play as early as Sunday.
"He's not going to play," the coach said. "The doctor's haven't cleared him."
Without Manuel and the uncertainty surrounding Thad Lewis, the Bills will look to either Jeff Tuel or Matt Flynn to start in the interim if Lewis can't play. However, Manuel appears to be nearing the part of the season that the original timetable indicated he might be ready to return.
Two weeks after the injury, Marrone said Manuel would miss an additional four-to-six weeks, which would put his return either in Week 11 at home against the New York Jets, or in Toronto against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13. Sandwiched in between, the Bills have their bye week.
Manuel was listed as a limited participant on Wednesday's official injury report. The Bills get back on the practice field Thursday in Orchard Park.