EJ Manuel on track to start in Buffalo Bills' opener


Upon receiving news of the Buffalo Bills' trade for quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, Around The League's initial reaction was that it signaled grave concern over Kevin Kolb's latest concussion.

It gives us no pleasure to report that our instincts were correct. According to Tim Graham of The Buffalo News, the Bills are indeed concerned that Kolb's latest concussion might be career-ending, and they are proceeding with that scenario in mind. A Bills source told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, however, that it's premature for the organization to view the injury as the end of the line for the six-year veteran.

While the outlook on Kolb is rather grim, the latest news on rookie EJ Manuel now is veering toward the positive. Rapoport reported on Sunday's edition of NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" that Manuel is "on track" to start in the season opener versus the New England Patriots.

Manuel won't play in Buffalo's preseason finale, leaving Jeff Tuel, Matt Leinart and Lewis to handle quarterback duties.

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In the meantime, expect Kolb to reflect on the viability of continuing his NFL career at age 29. He admittedly suffered two "major" concussions in his career before the 2011 late-season concussion that led to symptoms persisting for months after the injury.

Considering the health risks and Kolb's uneven play across 21 career starts, it's highly unlikely that he'll ever be viewed as a potential quarterback solution. He has to decide if it's worth risking brain trauma to proceed as a long-term backup.

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