Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- The Buffalo Bills will have to brace themselves for life without rookie quarterback EJ Manuel -- at least for a little while.
According to a league source, Manuel could be back in as little as four weeks, but also has the possibility of missing anywhere from six-to-eight weeks with a LCL sprain. Earlier in the day, the Bills spoke about the specifics of their quarterback's injury for the first time since his Monday morning MRI.
"EJ Manuel has a lateral collateral ligament, an LCL, which is non-surgical," head coach Doug Marrone revealed Friday. "We think it will be a few weeks and we'll re-evaluate him then. We expect him back somewhere during the season."
Now with Manuel set to miss some time and Jeff Tuel being the only healthy quarterback on the 53-man roster, the Bills are actively looking outside the organization to find another player at that position to add to the roster. Marrone said they're going through the names and the tape on each individual player to try and see who might be a fit.
The head coach did not agree with the sentiments of one question thinking that it would be a stretch for the new acquisition to get the start in Week Six versus Cincinnati.
"No, that's not a stretch," Marrone replied. "I think it all depends on who it is and what we get, and what their background is in that system."
The coach added that he'll have more of a feel for how the decision on who starts against the Bengals will go once they go through the free agent process over the weekend.
The free agent market for quarterbacks is headlined by the recently released Josh Freeman, who was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter through the first three weeks of the season. There has been no indication of either an interest or lack of interest in his services to this point in time.
Marrone says it's no slight to backup quarterback Jeff Tuel that they're even considering starting a quarterback that hasn't even worked out for the team just yet.
"Jeff's working extremely hard doing everything he possibly can do, and he's getting better and better each week -- and we like him, we really do -- but we just want to make sure that we're doing our due process making sure that is there someone else out there that's available that can help us," he said.
If there are no better options Tuel, and undrafted rookie, will get his first career start against the Bengals. Manuel's injury is to his right knee, which is not the same one he had a procedure done on during the preseason. The Bills have the weekend off and get back to work on Monday.