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Hurting Bills sign quarterback Matt Flynn

  • Article by: JOHN WAWROW
  • Associated Press
  • October 14, 2013 - 5:20 PM

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Matt Flynn is getting his latest chance at a fresh start, this time in Buffalo on a team that has spent the past week scrambling to shore up its injury-depleted quarterback position.

A week after being cut by Oakland, Flynn signed with the Bills on Monday after spending the morning working out for general manager Doug Whaley, coach Doug Marrone and his offensive staff. The sixth-year NFL player is now on his third team since December; the Raiders acquired him in a trade with Seattle this past offseason.

"I'm happy I'm getting a fresh start," Flynn said. "I'm happy I'm getting this opportunity with the Bills, and I'm excited about it. And hopefully it works out."

Flynn's signing marks the latest in a series of quarterback moves the Bills have made since rookie starter EJ Manuel sprained his right knee in a 37-24 loss to Cleveland on Oct. 3.

In the previous eight days alone, the Bills promoted Thad Lewis from their practice squad to take over as interim starter. They worked out free agents Dennis Dixon and Pat White before signing Dixon to the practice squad. And Buffalo failed in a bid to land former Tampa Bay starter Josh Freeman, who instead signed with Minnesota.

Despite Flynn's addition, Marrone intends to stick with Lewis as his starter Sunday, when Buffalo (2-4) travels to play Miami (3-2).

Lewis gets the nod after he made a solid debut overcoming a sprained right foot and a 14-point deficit by throwing two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 27-24 overtime loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. Marrone added that Lewis is expected to practice Wednesday after tests confirmed the injury to his foot is not serious.

Flynn will be initially groomed to serve as Lewis' backup ahead of undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel, who struggled filling in for Manuel against Cleveland.

Marrone also provided an encouraging update on Manuel's status, saying the rookie is "ahead of schedule" and has been cleared to begin rehabbing as early as Tuesday. Marrone cautioned it was too early to provide a more detailed timeline for when Manuel might be cleared for practice.

Manuel walked without a limp and acknowledged his knee is feeling better while making a brief visit to the locker room Monday.

Flynn was selected by Green Bay in the seventh round of the 2008 draft out of LSU, and spent his first four seasons as Aaron Rodgers' backup. In 2012, Flynn signed with Seattle in free agency; he eventually lost the starting job to rookie Russell Wilson.

This past offseason, Oakland gave up two draft picks to acquire Flynn from the Seahawks. The Raiders also reworked Flynn's contract in which the quarterback was guaranteed $6.5 million this season.

Flynn instead struggled in two appearances. He completed 22 of 34 passes for 246 yards with a touchdown and interception.

"Obviously, with the timing and whatever it was, we just weren't right for each other. It just didn't work out," he said. "I needed to play better."

Flynn said he's unaffected by what's happened.

"Obviously, you've got to learn from what you didn't do so well and try not to make the same mistakes twice," he said. "Leaving Green Bay, I was extremely confident. And I don't think that's shaken any."

Overall, Flynn has completed 109 of 175 attempts for 1,329 yards, with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in 39 career games, including three starts.

NOTES: WR Stevie Johnson said he's hopeful he could return to play against Miami after missing Sunday's game with a back injury. Johnson said he initially hurt his back in a 23-20 win over Baltimore two weeks ago, and aggravated the injury against Cleveland. ... Marrone hinted LG Doug Legursky has the edge on incumbent Colin Brown for the starting job. Legursky had more playing time than Brown against Cincinnati. ... To free up a roster spot to sign Flynn, the Bills placed defensive back Jonathan Meeks (sprained right ankle) on the injured reserve/designated to return list. That means Meeks has the chance to be activated in eight weeks.

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