The Buffalo Bills are flipping the script under center.
Coach Doug Marrone told reporters Wednesday that quarterback Thad Lewis will start Sunday against the Miami Dolphins after rookie EJ Manuel was limited in practice with the knee sprain he suffered in Week 15.
Marrone cited Manuel's decreased mobility after the knee swelled up Tuesday. The Bills tweeted that Manuel won't be active in any capacity Sunday but hopes to return in time for Buffalo's season finale.
"I am 110 percent confident that he will play against New England," Marrone said.
The switch pits Lewis against Miami for the second time this season. The third-year passer guided Buffalo to a 23-21 win over the Dolphins back in Week 7, one of three starts Lewis has made in relief of Manuel in 2013.
We argued earlier in the season on the "Around The League Podcast" that Lewis deserved another look. He's a work in progress, but he hit the scene prepared and showed good decision-making in completing 60.2 percent of his passes over four appearances. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett praised Lewis in October as a quick study who was able to run the "full offensive package," something we expect him to do again Sunday.
Also for Buffalo, Marrone told reporters that wide receiver Steve Johnson was excused from practice following his mother's death and likely won't be available against a Dolphins team still fighting for a playoff berth.