Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- The ballyhooed timetable regarding the potential return of Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel has finally been released.
"I spoke to the doctors, it will be four-to-six weeks from now," head coach Doug Marrone informed reporters. "So the earliest will be four and the latest will be six weeks without any setback. That's how we feel. He's doing well and he's in rehab working hard."
Manuel sprained the LCL in his right knee during the team's Week Five loss on Thursday night to the Cleveland Browns. The Bills have been reluctant to spill out information regarding when their first round pick might return, but now after speaking with the team's medical staff they have an outlook they're willing to share.
"Am I disappointed? No," Marrone said. "I want to make sure that he's healthy when he comes back."
With the current prognostication, Manuel could be back as early as the November 17 home game against the New York Jets or as late the first game after their bye week, the yearly trip to Toronto to take on the Atlanta Falcons at the Rogers Centre on December 1.
Until that time, the Bills will be going with Thad Lewis as their starting quarterback barring any injuries or changes of heart. In his first start with the team, Lewis completed 19-of-32 passes for 216 yards, threw two touchdowns, ran for another and also lost a fumble.
Through five games, Manuel completed 56.7-percent of his passes for 985 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. Even though his numbers haven't been jaw-dropping, Marrone is looking forward to the rookie's return.
"Obviously where he is in the rehabilitation process I'm happy that we're gonna get him back out there."
Lewis and the rest of the Bills will be up against the Miami Dolphins this weekend in southern Florida.