The Buffalo Bills announced Monday (Sept. 29) that they have benched second-year quarterback EJ Manuel in favor of veteran Kyle Orton.
The team started 2-0 under the 24-year-old, but have lost their last two games, so they’re hoping a change can turn things around. Orton is now scheduled to start on Sunday (Oct. 5) at Ford Field against the Detroit Lions.
“It’s not all EJ’s fault, but we need to get better production, obviously, out of that position,” coach Doug Marrone said Monday. “We have to make adjustments. We’ve got to make some changes, because we can’t keep going in the direction that we’re going.”
So far this season, Manuel has completed 58 percent of his passes and averaged 6.4 yards per attempt. But, his completion percentage dropped in each of the first four games this season, as did his Total QBR, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
It’s his second season in the NFL. Last season, he started 14 games after being selected 16th overall in the 2013 draft, posting a 6-8 record.
Despite benching him, the Bills haven’t given up on Manuel,” says coach Marrone.
“It gives him a chance to just step back for a moment, look at things that, you know, we can work on and correct,” the coach said. “And again, he’ll have to have some thick skin through this. And you’ve got to fight, and that’s usually what happens in life to get what you want, you’re going to have to fight for it.
“I think that he’ll be able to grow, I think he’ll be able to handle it well from my conversation with him. And he’ll be able to continue to grow as a quarterback.”