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Posted: Tuesday, 24 December 2013 1:42PM

Manuel practices, Bills to re-evaluate Thursday



Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550)  -- With some doubt cast on EJ Manuel's chances of starting at quarterback for the Buffalo Bills this weekend, the team still hasn't definitively stated whether or not the rookie would play on Sunday. That much stayed as a constant following Tuesday's practice, pushing head coach Doug Marrone's decision back at least a couple more days.

At the very least, Manuel participated in the first on-field work of the week.

"He went out there today. He practiced," Marrone said. "I'm gonna take a look again, we've got a day's rest. He went out there, he threw well. So we're just gonna rest him a little bit and come back Thursday and see how his mobility is going."

The former first-round pick re-injured his left knee in Week 15 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which forced him to sit out of the team's 19-0 win over Miami last Sunday. He's missed a total of five starts in 2013.

The head coach of the Bills explained that they practiced in the fieldhouse on Tuesday to have proper footing for Manuel, to try and determine just how strong his knee is to this point. Even then, Marrone won't rely on only what he sees first-hand from the quarterback.

"We've got a lot of stuff on tape. I'm gonna go back, it's a process," he said. "I'm going to talk to EJ, I'm going to talk to Nate. I'm going to look at the tape and look at it and see if I'm missing anything of what I've seen on the field with just my eyes."

If Manuel cannot play, then backup quarterback Thad Lewis will get his fifth start of the season. He's 2-2 on the year with both victories coming against the Miami Dolphins.

The rookie quarterback isn't the only player that will be re-evaluated for Thursday. Safety Aaron Williams did not practice on Tuesday, but Marrone still hasn't ruled out the third-year player just yet.

"I think we're gonna see in the next 24 hours," he remarked. "I think that we'll know a lot more on Thursday when we come back with the rest. Then we'll see if we can get him out there. I think that, like I said before, that if we can get him out there then we'll play him."

Williams suffered an injury to his ribs that kept him out of last week's game versus Miami. Running back Fred Jackson (ribs) and wide receiver Stevie Johnson (non-injury) were the only other two players not on the field. Jackson got a rest day and should be prepared to play on Sunday, while Johnson is still out in California after the passing of his mother a week-and-a-half ago.

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin practiced in full Tuesday, and it seems as though his knee injury will not prevent him from playing this weekend.

The Bills take on the New England Patriots in their regular season finale.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

All photos courtesy of AP
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