When the Buffalo Bills took the field against the New York Jets on Thursday night, EJ Manuel wasn't among the players in full pads and ready to go. It wasn't due to an injury or illness, though. He was a healthy scratch, making Josh Johnson the backup to Tyrod Taylor.
It was a puzzling move by Rex Ryan, seeing as Manuel has been Taylor's backup since Matt Cassel was traded, even starting two games when Taylor was injured. It appeared as though Manuel may have been bumped down to the No. 3 quarterback for weeks to come, but Ryan said that's not the case.
“We had a short week, and Josh was really, he knew the game plan going in,” Ryan said via the team's official site. “He'd played against this opponent before when he was in San Francisco … He knew the thing like the back of his hand — probably knew it better than Tyrod did. And so that's the only reason.
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“EJ Manuel is our backup quarterback, and will be for the rest of the things. But it was such a short week, that's why we decided to go that route.”
Of course, the Bills hope Manuel and Johnson never have to see the field with Taylor playing at an extremely high level. If he does get injured again this season, though, it sounds like Manuel will once again be the man Ryan calls upon.