Tonawanda News — ORCHARD PARK — Growing up a Miami Dolphins’ fan some four miles from their home stadium, Thad Lewis spent most Sundays limited to cheering on Dan Marino and company from his living room.
“‘Dan The Man,’ we called him,” the Buffalo Bills interim starter said this week, “The Dolphins were always my team. But when you’re a kid and your parents can’t afford to take you to a Dolphins game, it was on TV every week, so you didn’t miss it.”
Lewis won’t have any issues getting into Sun Life Stadium on Sunday.
Two weeks since being promoted off the practice squad, the 25-year-old will be making his second consecutive start when Buffalo (2-4) travels to play the Dolphins (3-2).
With 15 tickets set aside for family and friends, Lewis will have an opportunity to enjoy a homecoming he once could have barely imagined possible.
“Your dream as a child is to obviously get to this level, but to be starting is a dream come true,” he said. “It means a lot playing in the NFL, period. But it’s just extra to get to go home and play in front of people that you know.”
It has been an unlikely journey since Lewis, who played at Duke, broke into the NFL in 2010 as an undrafted rookie with St. Louis. He spent much of the past three-plus seasons attempting to stay in the league, and is on his fourth team in as many years.
He was fortunate to even land in Buffalo in the first place.
With rookie starter EJ Manuel out with a left knee injury and veteran Kevin Kolb out with a season-ending concussion, the Bills were down to undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel when they acquired Lewis in a trade with Detroit on Aug. 25. Lewis made a good enough impression playing the final two-plus quarters of a 35-13 preseason loss to Detroit to be signed to the practice squad.