Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

August 25, 2013

Buffalo signs QB Matt Leinart

Injuries mounting after 30-7 thrashing by the Redskins

Staff Reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Free-agent quarterback Matt Leinart signed with the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

Leinart fills an immediate need at Buffalo's injury-depleted quarterback position. The Bills have only two healthy quarterbacks on their roster — Leinart and undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel — heading into their final preseason game at 7 p.m. Thursday against the visiting Detroit Lions.

Kevin Kolb left the Bills' game Saturday against Washington because of concussion-like symptoms and first-round pick EJ Manuel is out for the rest of the preseason with a left knee injury. The Redskins won, 30-7.

Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy at Southern California, was drafted by Arizona in the first round in 2006. After four seasons with the Cardinals, he spent 2011 with Houston and last year with Oakland.

Kolb was injured in the first quarter when he was kneed in the helmet following an 8-yard scramble.

Bills' rookie haead coach Doug Marrone said it was too soon to determine how much time Kolb could miss. The injury-prone quarterback has had issues with concussions in the past, having sustained two in his first six seasons.

After releasing Tarvaris Jackson earlier in the offseason, the Bills hoped Kolb and Manuel would compete for the starting job at training camp but injuries have gotten in the way.

Kolb missed more than a week of camp after injuring his left knee on Aug. 3. Kolb was hurt when he tripped on a wet rubber mat between practice fields.

Manuel appeared well on his way toward earning the job before he sustained a left knee injury of his own in Buffalo's second preseason game. Manuel has not been ruled out for Buffalo's season opener and the Bills are optimistic regarding his return. He had what the team referred to only as a "minor procedure" after injuring his knee.

With Manuel nursing his injury, and after Kevin Kolb left the Redskins game with concussion-like symptoms in the first quarter, the only Bills quarterback left was undrafted rookie Tuel, who completed 10 of 17 passes for just 63 yards and looked like an undrafted rookie.

Forget Plan B. Time for Plan C. Or D. Or E.

"It is a concern," Marrone said. "I'm not going to sit here and say everything's fine and dandy."

The Bills have other issues, particularly in the secondary. Safety Da'Norris Searcy suffered a head injury, and cornerback Stephon Gilmore left with an injured wrist.

Marrone didn't have an update on either player. Fortunately, he's getting back two-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, who was on the sidelines Saturday after rejoining the team following a contentious offseason.

Byrd might be a bit grumpy, though: He was hoping for a huge multiyear contract as a free agent this year, but in the end he had no choice but to sign a one-year deal after Buffalo designated him as a franchise player.