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EJ Manuel back at practice for Buffalo Bills

Quarterback EJ Manuel is ahead of schedule after returning to the Buffalo Bills practice field Sunday, said coach Doug Marrone.The first-round draft pick had been sitting out after having his knee scoped.

Manuel participated in individual drills Sunday and is expected to take part in team drills beginning Monday. 

Marrone said the team will make the determination Wednesday whether Manuel or fellow rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel will start the Bills' season opener.

Manuel told reporters Sunday that he didn't feel any soreness in his knee after running and throwing Saturday. The rookie added that he "most definitely" would play next week if it was up to him.

Last week, Marrone hoped to get Manuel back to practice before the opener and that he would need to practice by Wednesday have a chance to play Week 1 against the New England Patriots. Manuel beat that deadline.

It was telling that the Bills kept only two quarterbacks on their active roster, Manuel and fellow rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel, before adding Thaddeus Lewis to the practice squad Sunday.

That move suggested the Bills were more comfortable with Manuel's progress than they let on.

Getting the rookie back on the field was the first step to the EJ era beginning in Buffalo.

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