Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has decided to start Thad Lewis at quarterback for Sunday's game against Cincinnati.
Lewis has been on the club's practice squad after being acquired from Detroit in August and will make the start in place of injured rookie EJ Manuel.
"Thad gives us the best chance," said Marrone on Monday. "We're going to give him an opportunity to see what he has."
Manuel was hurt during last Thursday's against Cleveland, suffering a sprained right knee ligament that will not require surgery. Fellow rookie Jeff Tuel struggled as Manuel's replacement in the 37-24 loss, completing just 8-of-20 passes for 80 yards with an interception.
Tuel was nearly the opening day starter for the Bills after Manuel underwent minor knee surgery in August, but the first-round pick recovered quickly and was under center Week 1 against New England.
Lewis, meanwhile, doesn't have much more experience than Tuel. He has played one game in his four-year NFL career, starting the 2012 season finale for Cleveland against Pittsburgh. He connected on 22-of-32 passes for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 24-10 loss.
The 25-year-old Duke product entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and spent the season on the practice squad of the St. Louis Rams. He then joined the Browns in 2011 and spent that season, as well as all but the final game of 2012 on Cleveland's practice squad.
The Bills opened up a roster spot for Lewis by placing rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins on season-ending injured reserve. Hopkins suffered a right groin injury last month.