BUFFALO, N.Y. -- “He’s an excellent, excellent quarterback and he heals quick,” said Williamsville fan Wesley Haynie. “He had a couple injuries at Florida State that he bounced back from.”
Fans like Wesley Haynie, who proudly wears the number 3 jersey, are optimistic that quarterback EJ Manuel will recover quickly. Saturday, head coach Doug Marrone announced Manuel will miss the remainder of the pre season due to a knee injury. The news comes right as fans were getting pumped up for the new season.
"With the new coach, new players, we were expecting a lot more to happen but you know things do happen, out of our control," said Buffalo fan Casimiro Rodriguez Jr.
One fan thinks the team’s current roster has enough strength to carry the team with or without Manuel.
"As long as the team can stick together,” said Silver Creek fan Matt Miller. “CJ Spiller as our backer. Freddy Jackson there. We’re just going to dominate this year. Even if EJ’s not there. Team we have together, gonna dominate."
Kevin Kolb will now start at quarterback.
"I mean Kolb as far as his abilities, I think he's a good quarterback,” said Buffalo fan Dewitt Overton. “He just has to stay healthy and stay confident."
"I think it's going to hurt us if he doesn’t come back for the regular season,” said Haynie. “But hopefully the injury is something that he'll heal quickly from. And hopefully Kevin Kolb can hold the fort down until he gets back."
Meanwhile, the first batch of Manuel’s jersey has already sold out at Laux Sporting Goods.
The NFL reports his jersey is the third best selling rookie jersey in the league.
Store managers say they don't think his injury will change that.
"Fans wanted to see him actually throw the ball and everything,” said Ian Rising of Laux Sporting Goods. “With the sports radio and everything talking about how well he's been doing, and now the preseason games. That's the first one people are going to."
Manuel has been scheduled for a minor surgical procedure.
Marrone says he will be re-evaluated at the end of the preseason to determine if Manuel needs to be out longer.