The Buffalo Bills have named EJ Manuel the starting quarterback for their game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, a source told FS1 NFL Insider Mike Garafolo.
Manuel will get the nod in place of Tyrod Taylor, who suffered a sprained MCL in his knee during last week’s win over the Tennessee Titans. Taylor practiced on a limited basis this week and was considered a game-time decision.
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This will be the 15th career start for Manuel, who was a first-round pick of the Bills in 2013. He has 16 career touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. However, he has not started since he was benched one month into last season.
"He looked really good," coach Rex Ryan said this week. "He’s got a good grasp of the game plan. … We’ve had great confidence in him and (if) he goes into play we expect him to do really good things."
Bills running back LeSean McCoy expects to return from a hamstring injury and play Sunday. McCoy has missed each of the past two weeks after a setback at practice. He originally hurt his left hamstring at training camp Aug. 18. He is listed as probable.
"I look forward to playing," McCoy said. "When my number’s called, I’m going to be out there looking to make plays. … I feel like I’m healthy enough to go out there and perform."
Asked about McCoy’s status, Ryan said: "I feel pretty good. I guess sometimes the experts get it wrong."
McCoy has yet to make a major impact after coming to Buffalo in a blockbuster trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for linebacker Kiko Alonso. In three games, he has 146 yards on 43 carries. The Bills are without rookie running back Karlos Williams, who is recovering from a concussion.
Receiver Sammy Watkins has missed each of the past two games because of a calf injury but indicated earlier in the week he would play through the injury if necessary against the 5-0 Bengals. Receiver Percy Harvin has an ailing hip and is questionable.