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EJ Manuel throws before Buffalo Bills' preseason game

Before the Buffalo Bills lost an ugly (and, frankly, meaningless) preseason game to the Detroit Lions, the team was graced with a dash of good news.

Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel took the field before Thursday night's kickoff for a pregame warmup session that included light throwing, his first of any kind since undergoing a minor procedure on his left knee Aug. 18.

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The Bills' first-round draft pick tossed a string of 10- to 15-yard passes from a stationary position. Manuel took a handful of three-step drops but favored his left leg, moving deliberately and shifting his weight from his back foot to his front foot, according to the team's official website.

Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News observed that Manuel "threw a lot of balls" but "wasn't trotting or anything." We still don't have a clear picture of when Manuel will take the field.

The young passer's appearance was unadorned by the fanfare that followed Robert Griffin III's every offseason move, but Buffalo's season arguably hinges on Manuel's return.

We argued on Monday's "Around The League Podcast" that the loss of cornerback Stephon Gilmore might be costlier to the Bills out of the gate, but coach Doug Marrone's offense is a shell of its former self with Jeff Tuel at the controls. Expect to see an unending helping of C.J. Spiller come Week 1.

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