Aug 16, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) and Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) embrace after a game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo defeats Minnesota 20 to 16. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

E.J. Manuel throws on field during Bills warmups prior to preseason finale with Detroit Lions

On Tuesday, Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said that E.J. Manuel had yet to begin throwing after his knee surgery, one of many steps the quarterback would have to take before being ready for game action. With the Bills having to start Jeff Tuel in Week One with Kevin Kolb still injured as well, that news was bad news for the long suffering fans in Buffalo.

Things have progressed since then, however with Manuel giving the Bills faithful some hope before their preseason finale kicked off. Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News reports that Manuel was throwing “a lot of balls” on the field before the Bills’ preseason finale against the Lions.

Gaughan adds that Manuel “wasn’t trotting or anything,” but getting back to throwing is clearly a step in the right direction for the rookie and for a Bills offense that will likely be starting undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel, who is not expected to play against the Lions on Thursday night for safety reasons, in the season opener against the Patriots.

While discussing Manuel’s progress this week, Marrone said that he would need to have Manuel cleared to practice by Wednesday of next week. How close to getting that green light Manuel might be after throwing on Thursday is unknown, but it’s sure to be a closely watched storyline heading into Week One. Bills fans can at least get some solace in the fact that Manuel will be returning sooner rather than later, the fact that he was throwing balls without pain a sign of brighter days for the Bills quarterbacking in 2013.

Tags: AFC East Buffalo Bills E.J. Manuel NFL NFL Preseason

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