Pay per head sportsbooks found out that on Wednesday, rookie EJ Manuel was named by the Buffalo Bills as their starting QB for their opener against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Manuel, who was the first QB picked in April’s draft, received a minor procedure on his left knee on August 18, and pay per head sportsbooks saw that he was unable to play in Buffalo’s final two preseason games.
Coach Doug Marrone said that the 16th overall pick returned to full speed.
“He’s 110 percent healthy,” Marrone said. “He looks good out there. So that’s what we’re going to go with.”
In his two preseason appearances, Manuel made two touchdowns without an interception and was a combined 26-of-33 passing for 199 yards.
Last week, Marrone said that if Manuel wouldn’t be able to play, Buffalo planned to start undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel, the only other quarterback on the team’s active roster list. However, pay per head sportsbooks learned that Manuel went back to practice on Sunday with a brace on his left knee.
Marrone said that the quarterback’s recovery from the procedure was progressing before time, and pay per head sportsbooks were happy to learn that on Monday Manuel was able to practice fully. Marrone said that the original plan was to have the player return to practice on Monday on a limited basis.
“When he first came back, I was like ‘Wow, he looks pretty good,'” Marrone said. “Then the thing was to be smart about it. When it started to move up, I started to feel like this was the way we were going.”
Marrone said that at this point, the Bills aren’t worried about Manuel injuring his knee again.
“What I was trying to make sure of was, by putting him back there, was there any chance [for it] to get worse?” Marrone said. “Once that was taken out of the equation, I felt very comfortable with the situation.
“Being Catholic, there was a lot of prayers,” joked Marrone. “Honestly, you go home and say, ‘I hope he’s healthy, I hope he’s healthy.’ But you really don’t know.”
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Even though Manuel’s first NFL start will be on Sunday, Marrone said the he will not lower his expectations with the quarterback, and price per head services are confident that he’ll do just fine.