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Jeff Tuel starts for Buffalo Bills; QB Thad Lewis out

The Buffalo Bills will start rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel on Sunday against the 8-0 Kansas City Chiefs.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Tuel will start in place of Thad Lewis, who has been dealing with a rib injury. The team later announced it. Lewis had been expected to start earlier in the week, but his injury didn't progress as anticipated.

Tuel will make his first NFL start against one of the league's best defenses. The rookie quarterback looked overwhelmed in his first regular-season experience, Week 5, against the Cleveland Browns.

With Lewis out, the positive vibes emanating from Buffalo fans believing an upset was possible were dampened. Lewis played well in place of rookie EJ Manuel, who still is working back from a knee injury.

Manuel returned to practice on a limited basis last week, and a source close to the Bills told NFL Media's Stacey Dales on Sunday that the Bills expect Manuel's workload to increase in the upcoming week. Manuel told Dales that he "feels really good." Lewis is expected to ramp up his practice level, too, according to Dales.

As NFL Media's Andrew Siciliano pointed out, it's the second time in three weeks the Chiefs will face a quarterback making his first career NFL start (Houston Texans' Case Keenum in Week 7 was the other).

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