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NFL Preseason Preview - Buffalo (2-0) at Washington (2-0)



By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Bills will travel to the nation's capital for their all-important third preseason game without the future of the franchise, rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel.

Perhaps that's apropos, however, because the Redskins continue to prepare for the 2013 season without their own standard bearer, second-year signal caller Robert Griffin III.

Manuel had minor surgery on his left knee Sunday morning in Buffalo after sustaining an injury in last Friday night's 20-16 preseason win against Minnesota.

Taking the cautious approach the Bills have already ruled out Manuel for the rest of the preseason. The 23-year-old Florida State product will be re- evaluated at the start of the regular season.

Manuel, who was the 16th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, played well in his first two preseason games, completing 26-of-33 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

In the meantime, Kevin Kolb will be Buffalo's starting quarterback.

Manuel outplayed Kolb against the Vikings, completing 10-of-12 passes for 92 yards with a score over three series for the Bills. He was a perfect 6-of-6 on his initial drive to start the third quarter, which resulted in a score when he flipped a 4-yard TD pass to Brad Smith and gave the Bills a comfortable 20-3 advantage.

Kolb, meanwhile, started the tilt and completed 13-of-21 passes for 111 yards with an interception. It was an inauspicious outing for Kolb, who made his preseason debut. He missed the previous eight days of practice after twisting his knee while slipping on a wet rubber mat in practice on Aug. 3.

Jerry Hughes, filling in for defensive end Mario Williams who was held out due to soreness, registered two sacks and forced a fumble. C.J. Spiller carried the ball seven times for 27 yards in the triumph.

Buffalo also made news this week by releasing long-time kicker Rian Lindell and finally convincing star safety Jairus Byrd to end a nearly month-long holdout by signing his one-year franchise tender.

Byrd also sat out all offseason training activities and minicamp in protest of being slapped with the franchise tag, but finally relented and accepted the Bills' tender offer of $6.9 million for the upcoming season. Buffalo was unable to come to an agreement with the 2012 Pro Bowl selection on a long-term contract by the mid-July deadline.

The Bills' kicking duties will now be handled by rookie Dustin Hopkins, a sixth-round pick in April's draft. Hopkins has not missed on his four field goal attempts in the preseason.

The Redskins improved to 2-0 on the preseason by beating Pittsburgh, 24-13, in FedEx Field on Monday. Leonard Hankerson's one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter highlighted Washington's victory.

Kirk Cousins started under center again for the recovering RG3, who is attempting to return from major knee surgery performed after he tore the ACL and LCL in his right knee during Washington's NFC wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Washington's Ryan Kerrigan returned a Ben Roethlisberger interception for a score and Rex Grossman completed 10-of-16 passes for 133 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Cousins was forced to leave early in the second quarter against the Steelers with a foot injury but an MRI taken Tuesday showed no serious damage to the foot.

Washington is 9-5 against the Bills in the preseason.

08/21 15:38:07 ET


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