Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone said quarterback Thad Lewis, who has missed practice this week because of a ribs injury is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs. Rookie Jeff Tuel, an undrafted free agent from Washington State, likely will start unless Lewis makes a rapid recovery in the next 48 hours. Marrone said defensive lineman Kyle Williams, running back Freddy Jackson, linebacker Manny Lawson, running back C.J. Spiller, wide receiver Stevie Johnson, and linebacker Marioi Williams were all probable.
Here’s a Q and A with Marrone from Friday morning:Q: What is Lewis’ status?
A. “With Thad, we’re really going to take a good look later on this afternoon. Obviously anti-inflammatories, he’s been taking and just to see where he is. I think that we’re going to have discussions this afternoon and tomorrow if Thad can’t go which quarterback gives us the best chance to win? That’s really not finalized in our minds. Obviously we’re trying to hold out to see if Thad will be ready. We feel that if he is and we have the option to play him, if he’s healthy enough for us to win and when you’re dealing with muscle injuries they kind of take you all the way up to game time. “Like hamstrings and things like that. Different than other more extreme types of injuries. This one is a pain tolerance situation to see what he can do. The other guys, we’ve gotten them ready with Jeff (Tuel) and Matt (Flynn). We’ve just got to see and both of those guys will be ready to go. They know the situation; I’ve spoken to them about it. That’s what it is. I know that everyone would like to know and have an answer and do that. We’ve talked to the other guys on the team; they just need to concentrate on themselves getting ready to go. As soon as we make the decision I’ll tell the team.”Q: Were the reps split up evenly between Jeff Tuel and Matt Flynn?
A: “No, I think it’s hard to get a fairly even split with how we started it.”Q: So Jeff got a little bit more?
A: “Yeah, he did.”Q: Is Thad over the flu?
A: “Yeah, it’s not a point of the sickness it’s a point of the soreness of the ribs. Really just being able to turn and throw is the one thing. That’s the one thing that’s holding him back, being able to turn his torso and throw. That’s it. If he can get by that, then he’ll be able to play.”Q: How much did Lewis end up doing today?
A: “Obviously very limited because of what I just said with that ability. Once we get over that hump, we should be able to go. He’s thrown enough footballs and done enough of that. We just really had him out here working on his footwork, working on his timing with the handoffs. That’s why I talked about later this afternoon we’ll discuss to see how he feels. One of the things, when you have the ribs and the contusion is that you really can’t start your anti-inflammatories as early as you’d like too like with other injuries. Really he got started on the anti-inflammatories later in the week.”Q: Why?
A: “When you get the ribs and stuff you worry about internal bleeding which goes so you have to really wait and make sure that’s all out before you start the anti-inflammatories.”Q: I know you had said how he practiced today would be important.
A: “I was hoping that from a muscle standpoint, we have him in the pool turning and twisting and things like that in the pool. I think it is what it is. We’re in a challenging situation and at the end of the day whatever happens this will be if Thad goes in there we continue to go. He didn’t practice all week really except for that and that would be a challenge for him to play. If Jeff goes in there, again Jeff has never started before, it was the same challenge with EJ (Manuel). EJ had never started a game before. Thad went in there he’d only started one game before in his career and if Matt Flynn goes in there I believe he’s only started something like two games in his career. Potentially we could have that type of situation if it’s not Thad. It would be a third quarterback who has never really started a game in this league. I don’t really know if that’s ever been done.”Q: Just for clarification, if Thad turns the corner you would be comfortable with him playing even though he didn’t practice?
A: “He did not practice and throw the football all the way up until Friday at this time. He may throw the football this afternoon and then may throw it in two training sessions tomorrow and then one pregame. I think we can catch him up. I just don’t want to miscommunicate that if we did throw him in there, obviously he’s going to have to throw the football a couple times before we get him in there.”Q: How’s C.J. Spiller doing with his sprained ankle?
A: “Good, good, good. Still getting through some things, came out earlier in the week, I know someone asked me and I made the comment of he looked good. Really earlier during the week when I look back and evaluate it, he was obviously very rusty which is normal. He’s really made good strides during this week. I still think there are a couple things that we have to get over the top. What we’re doing with him is obviously you see him out here right now. We have the extra training session now; we’ll have another extra training session with him tomorrow, maybe two. Then we’ll have one again on Sunday, prior to the game we’ll have him working too. This way we keep progress going, like I said before we have the ability now to really amp it up and try to catch him up.”