With only two healthy quarterbacks active to start their preseason game versus the Redskins, the Buffalo Bills could ill afford to suffer any more injuries at the position.
When it rains, it pours.
Former Washington State signal caller Jeff Tuel exited Buffalo's 30-7 defeat Saturday as the lone healthy quarterback after Kevin Kolb was lost to a concussion late in the first quarter. Tuel played every subsequent offensive snap, completing 10 of 17 passes for 62 yards and a 66.3 passer rating. He also carried the ball twice for four yards and was sacked once for a loss of three yards.
A surprise knee operation for 2013 first-round quarterback EJ Manuel has ruled him out for the rest of the preseason. Given the serious nature of concussions in today's NFL, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Kolb will be ruled out for the Bills' preseason finale Aug. 29 against Detroit, leaving Tuel as the only healthy quarterback on the roster.
According to Chris Brown of buffalobills.com, the Bills will "presumably look to sign a free agent quarterback" before Thursday's game.
Tuel has impressed coaches and teammates with his performance through the first two preseason games. Coming into today's loss, Tuel had completed 21 of 26 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns and a 130.1 passer rating. For comparison's sake, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers led the NFL last year with a 108.0 rating.
"I think that we've seen that he's gone in there and he's really done a nice job," Bills head coach Doug Marrone told buffalobills.com. Marrone added that no decision has been made as to who the starting quarterback will be once the regular season opens Sept. 8 in a home game versus the New England Patriots, winners of the AFC East the last four seasons.
For Tuel, practicing as if he's No. 1 on the depth chart is key. "From the day I got here," Tuel said, "I'm going to prepare like I'm the No. 1, whether I'm the three, two or number one guy. I think that's the best way to approach the game.
"If the time comes and the opportunity presents itself, I'm going to be prepared."
Former Eastern Washington Eagle Brandon Kaufman has also impressed for the Bills this preseason, catching two passes in each of the first two preseason games, including a 5-yard touchdown reception from Tuel in the opener.
Information from buffalobills.com was used in this story