Niagara Gazette

Sports

August 25, 2013

Bills add QBs Leinart and Lewis

Niagara Gazette —

ORCHARD PARK — The Buffalo Bills, left with just undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel as its only healthy quarterback following Saturday's preseason loss to Washington, added two more passers Sunday, signing free agent Matt Leinart and then acquiring Thaddeus Lewis in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

Terms of the Leinart deal weren't disclosed.

Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy at Southern California, was drafted by Arizona in the first round in 2006. After four seasons with the Cardinals, he spent 2011 with Houston and last year with Oakland.

Lewis, who played is college football at Duke from 2006 to 2009, signed as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 2010, then moved to the Cleveland Browns last year, where he made only one start. That came on December 30, when he completed 22 of 32 passes and threw one touchdown and one interception in the Browns' 24-10 loss to Pittsburgh.

After being waived this spring, he was claimed by the Detroit Lions on May 28.

The new quarterbacks come to Buffalo as the Bills try to determine how to proceed after their top two contenders for the starting job went down hurt.

Kevin Kolb left the Bills' game Saturday against Washington because of concussion-like symptoms and first-round pick EJ Manuel is out for the rest of the preseason with a left knee injury.

Kolb was injured in the first quarter when he was kneed in the helmet following an 8-yard scramble. Coach Doug Marrone said it was too soon to determine how much time Kolb could miss. The injury-prone quarterback has had issues with concussions in the past, having sustained two in his first six seasons.

After releasing Tarvaris Jackson earlier in the offseason, the Bills hoped Kolb and Manuel would compete for the starting job at training camp.

Kolb missed more than a week of camp after injuring his left knee on Aug. 3, when he tripped on a wet rubber mat between practice fields.

Manuel appeared well on his way toward earning the job before he sustained a left knee injury of his own in Buffalo's second preseason game. Manuel has not been ruled out for Buffalo's season opener and the Bills are optimistic regarding his return. He had what the team referred to only as a "minor procedure" after injuring his knee.

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