Bills vs. Steelers: E.J. Manuel cleared to practice for Buffalo this week

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The 16th overall pick of the NFL Draft, E.J. Manuel, was cleared to practice, paving the way for a start against the Steelers in Week 10.

When in doubt, lean on Dick LeBeau's record against rookie quarterbacks.

The Steelers are likely to receive good and bad news this week, as early word in Buffalo suggests rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel will practice, and probably get the start against the Steelers in Week 10.

The good news is LeBeau's defense has not lost to a rookie quarterback when he starts his regular compliment of players, and the Steelers offense doesn't turn the ball over eight times. He's 16-2 all-time, most recently, scoring a 19-6 win over the Jets in Week 6. His defense confused Geno Smith into two interceptions, and the Jets offense never threatened in the game.

Manuel has completed 85-of-150 passes so far this season (56.6 percent) with five touchdowns and three interceptions. According to Buffalo Rumblings, the timetable for return had him coming back next week, indicating he is ahead of schedule to play.

Incidentally, if he cannot play, the Bills would either start undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel, who made his first career start last week in a loss to the Chiefs, or Thad Lewis, who made his first career start last year as a member of the Cleveland Browns. He put up the best game a quarterback within the AFC North had against the Steelers all last year, but the Steelers took a 24-10 win in Week 17.

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