Bills to start UDFA QB Jeff Tuel in season opener

Bills to start undrafted rookie QB Jeff Tuel in season opener

8/26/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Here's a trivia question for you: when was the last time an undrafted rookie quarterback started a season opener? Trick question. It's never happened. However, we very well may see it happen when the NFL kicks off this year. With injuries to E.J. Manuel and Kevin Kolb, the Bills are now turning to undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel as their starting quarterback for Week 1.

Manuel underwent knee surgery eight days ago, and while head coach Doug Marrone is "hoping" that his rookie signal caller will be ready, it would be wise for the team to make sure that their quarterback of the future is one hundred percent healthy before putting him back on the field.

Kolb, on the other hand, suffered a concussion on Saturday. He has had issues with concussions in the past, and has been increasingly slower to recover from them each time. Retirement has been mentioned as a serious possibility for the 29-year-old, and as of now it appears that the best case scenario is he misses the entire 2013 season.

Aug 11, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel (8) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Buffalo defeats Indianapolis 44-20. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsThe Bills signed Matt Leinart on Sunday, but Marrone told reporters Monday that it is Tuel who he expects to start Week 1.

Tuel played college ball at Washington State, where he was fairly unimpressive. As a senior, he played in ten games, throwing for 2,087 yards on 6.3 yards per attempt while putting up only eight touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He does possess some athleticism and a quick delivery, but lacks NFL-caliber arm talent.

As if his workload wasn't going to be big enough already, the Bills now figure to feature running back C.J. Spiller almost exclusively. Tuel's presence behind center obviously cripples the fantasy stock of Stevie Johnson and any other Bills receiver you may have considered playing. The passing game will have to be catered to Tuel by calling a very high percentage of short, quick-hit plays.

The Bills will open the season against the New England Patriots, so you can probably pencil in at least one blowout game for Week 1.
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