Rex Ryan won't rule out Tyrod Taylor starting

Rex Ryan insists he's not yet counting out Tyrod Taylor for Sunday's showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals.

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"I would not rule out Tyrod Taylor as starting this week," Ryan told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday morning. "Although I know it's widely reported that that's the case. We will see, that's a possibility. I certainly wouldn't count Tyrod Taylor out. He did finish the game this past week. I can tell you this: He's got heart, he's got toughness and he's got a lot of ability. I definitely would not rule him out."

On Wednesday, Taylor told reporters that he expects to start Sunday, saying "that's the plan."

On Tuesday, a source familiar with the injury told NFL Media that Taylor suffered an MCL injury last week and would be kept out of the Bengals game. Taylor will be re-evaluated next week, but he will not be able to play by Sunday.

Ryan's optimism is likely just a bluster play from the head coach to either: a) keep a flame of hope alive for his starting signal-caller; or (more likely) b) to keep the Bengals guessing. Rex loves playing the will-he-won't-he card, as he's done with receiver Sammy Watkins the past two weeks.

Ryan later told reporters during a news conference that EJ Manuel would get the majority of practice reps Wednesday with Taylor not a full-go. Rex added that "we have full confidence that (Manuel will) do the job" if Taylor can't play.

The Bills signed veteran Josh Johnson this week as an emergency backup.

McCoy and Watkins both opened practice with the first-string offense, per Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News.

"I definitely should be out there Sunday whether I'm hurt or not," Watkins told reporters Wednesday.