This August was supposed to be the preseason of progression for second-year Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel. Instead, he led just two touchdown drives in five games—and both of those came against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive unit composed entirely of backups—and continued struggling to find any rhythm with the Bills’ first-team offense.
Despite his underwhelming rookie season and persistent lackluster performance this summer, it remained presumed throughout training camp and the preseason that Manuel was the Bills’ only option to start. Neither Thad Lewis nor Jeff Tuel, the two quarterbacks who had been with Buffalo since last season, gave any hope of being an upgrade under center. That perception has started to change, however, since the Bills signed veteran Kyle Orton on Saturday.