The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday in their latest bid to shore up an injury-depleted position.
A week after being cut by Oakland, Flynn signed with Buffalo after spending the morning working out for a team that’s been scrambling to add quarterbacks since rookie starter EJ Manuel sprained his right knee in a 37-24 loss to Cleveland on Oct. 3.
Coach Doug Marrone all but ruled out Flynn’s chances of starting Sunday, when Buffalo (2-4) travels to Miami (3-2). Marrone won’t rush Flynn in, saying he needs time to become comfortable with the offense.
Marrone also has confidence in Thad Lewis, who has taken over as interim starter a week after being promoted off the practice squad. Despite playing on a sprained ankle, Lewis threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns in overcoming a 14-point deficit in a 27-24 overtime loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.
Marrone said he ”feels good” about Lewis’ chances of playing after tests confirmed the player sustained no significant damage.
Marrone said he’s not decided yet whether Flynn or undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel will serve as Lewis’ backup.
Flynn became the third quarterback to work out for the Bills since Oct. 6, when the team held a tryout for free agents Dennis Dixon and Pat White. And Flynn becomes the second quarterback the Bills have added in a week since signing Dixon to their practice squad.
Flynn’s workout had already been scheduled before the Bills played Cincinnati.
In his sixth NFL season, Flynn joins his third team in two years, and a week after he was cut by Oakland. He had dropped to third on the Raiders’ depth chart behind starter Terrelle Pryor and undrafted free agent Matt McGloin.
Oakland gave up two draft picks to acquire Flynn last offseason in trade with Seattle. The Raiders also reworked Flynn’s contract in which the quarterback was guaranteed to be paid $6.5 million this season.
Flynn instead struggled in two appearances. He completed 22 of 34 passes for 246 yards with a touchdown and interception.
”It was one of those things that didn’t work out. Just wasn’t the right fit. I needed to play better,” Flynn said of his short tenure with the Raiders. ”I am happy to be getting a fresh start here.”
Selected in the seventh round of the 2008 draft by Green Bay, Flynn spent his first four seasons as Aaron Rodgers’ backup. In 2012, Flynn signed with Seattle, before losing the starting job to rookie Russell Wilson.
Overall, Flynn has completed 109 of 175 attempts for 1,329 yards, with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in 39 career games, including three starts.
Marrone provided an encouraging update on Manuel’s status, saying the rookie is ”ahead of schedule” and has been cleared to begin rehabbing on Tuesday. Marrone cautioned it was too early to provide a more detailed timeline as to when Manuel might be cleared for practice.
Manuel walked without a sign of a limp and acknowledged his knee is feeling better while making a brief visit to the locker room Monday.
To free up a roster spot to sign Flynn, the Bills placed defensive back Jonathan Meeks (sprained right ankle) on the injured reserve/designated to return list. That means Meeks has the chance to be activated in eight weeks.