Sports

Bills coach Doug Marrone reminding rookie quarterback EJ Manuel to avoid unnecessary hits

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2013 file photo, Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Bills rookie quarterback on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, declared himself ready to return after missing four weeks with a sprained right knee. All that's standing in Manuel's way is a green light from coach Doug Marrone. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2013 file photo, Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Bills rookie quarterback on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, declared himself ready to return after missing four weeks with a sprained right knee. All that's standing in Manuel's way is a green light from coach Doug Marrone. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert, File)  (The Associated Press)

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone is reminding EJ Manuel to avoid unnecessary hits now that the rookie quarterback is set to return after spraining his knee.

Marrone said Thursday he's confident Manuel will be better at sliding or getting out of bounds. For emphasis, Marrone added: "Well, he had better be better, right?"

The rookie first-round pick took most of the snaps in practice for a second straight day, putting him on track to start Sunday against Pittsburgh (2-6).

Manuel has missed four games since he was hurt in a 37-24 loss at Cleveland on Oct. 3. Instead of jumping out of bounds, he tried to scramble for a few extra yards when he was struck in the right knee by safety Tashaun Gipson.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org