By JOHN WAWROW
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — ORCHARD PARK — Buffalo Bills quarterback Thad Lewis missed practice Wednesday because of sore ribs and is "50-50" to play Sunday against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, coach Doug Marrone says.
Rookie Jeff Tuel and free-agent addition Matt Flynn split the first-team reps. Starting quarterback EJ Manuel remains out for the next game with a knee injury.
The Bills (3-5) have lost three of four in preparing to host the Chiefs (8-0).
Lewis continued playing despite being hurt on the first play from scrimmage in a 35-17 loss at New Orleans on Sunday. Lewis had taken off on a run up the left side, when linebacker David Hawthorne struck the quarterback with a helmet-first hit into the right ribs. Lewis fumbled the ball and had difficulty getting off the field.
Lewis, who lost another fumble and threw an interception, finished 22 of 39 for 234 yards and a touchdown in making his third consecutive start. He was promoted off the practice squad three weeks ago to take over after rookie Manuel sprained his right knee.
Manuel returned to practice for the first time on Wednesday since being hurt in a 37-24 loss at Cleveland on Oct. 30. He practiced on a limited basis, and isn't expected to be ready to play for at least another week.
Tuel, out of Washington State, showed he wasn't ready to play at the NFL level in replacing Manuel against Cleveland. He went 8 of 20 for 80 yards, and threw an interception that was returned for a game-sealing touchdown in the final two minutes.
The Bills spent the next two weeks scrambling to address their lack of experienced depth at quarterback. Aside from promoting Lewis from the practice squad, they signed Flynn on Oct. 14, a week after he was cut by the Oakland Raiders.
Flynn is on his third team in less than a year after finishing last season in Seattle. He went 22 of 34 for 246 yards with a touchdown and interception in two appearances with the Raiders.