ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback EJ Manuel is expected to miss at least one month with a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his right knee.
Manuel could be out up to six weeks, which props the door wide open for discarded Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman to land on his feet.
Manuel was injured during Thursday's 37-24 loss to Cleveland.
Free agent Pat White is another option the Bills are evaluating with only rookie Jeff Tuel on the current roster. Manuel will not need surgery, but coach Doug Marrone knows his recovery could take longer than expected.
"It's early on now, you know, to really give you an exact timeframe or even a window," Marrone said. "What we need right now is for it to calm down, see where he's at probably in a week, see how it's progressing ... and then get it down into a little bit more of a window."
Tuel stepped in and finished last week's game, and he was dreadful in completing 8 of 20 passes for 80 yards and a pick-six interception in the final two minutes that clinched the game for Cleveland.
Tuel is incapable of being a starter in the NFL at this point, and that was readily evident in Cleveland. Neither is Thad Lewis, who is on the Bills' practice squad.
Marrone said the team will look outside the organization for a replacement but didn't directly speak to White or Freeman.
"We will be looking to bring in another quarterback," said Marrone. "We're in the process of that right now, you know, going through the names, going through the tape."
White spent trianing camp with the Washington Redskins but is more of a runner than passer. Freeman was cut last week.
Marrone said that whoever the Bills sign, he could be the starter as early as the next game, Oct. 13 at home against Cincinnati.
"That's not a stretch," Marrone said. "I think it all depends on who it is, and what we get, and what their background is in their system. I would say it's possible in what we do, only because we're going through the process right now. I think that by the end of the weekend, I'll have a lot better feel of what we're trying to accomplish, seeing who we bring in."