Jeff Tuel went undrafted in April. Four months later, the former Washington State quarterback is in line to start the Buffalo Bills' regular-season opener against the New England Patriots.
While saying Monday that he hopes rookie EJ Manuel will return in time from knee surgery to face the Patriots, Bills head coach Doug Marrone said the team is preparing for Tuel to be under center Sept. 8.
Buffalo's quarterback situation has been thrown into disarray with injuries to Manuel and Kevin Kolb, whose future is uncertain due to another concussion. That led the team to sign Matt Leinart and trade for deus Lewis on Sunday.
"A little bit of adversity (there)," Marrone said when asked about the team's quarterback situation.
The journey from undrafted free agent to potential starting quarterback has been quick for Tuel, who has been praised by Marrone for his rapid development.
"I've been preparing to be the starter since the beginning. It can happen," said Tuel. "I've tried to concentrate on being a sponge, learn from others' mistakes."
One of the immediate issues for Tuel is getting on the same page with the first-team wide receivers he hasn't had much opportunity to work with. He admitted throwing late to Stevie Johnson "a couple times."
Marrone said media speculation that Kolb could be considering walking away from the game did not come from the quarterback and that Kolb is focusing on recovery first.
Marrone also announced that cornerback Stephon Gilmore will miss 6-8 weeks with a fractured wrist that will require surgery. However, the team does not intend to place him on injured reserve with the designation to return during the season.
"We believe he'll be back sooner than eight weeks," said Marrone.
Marrone admitted the rash of injuries has created difficult situations.
"I would view this situation as adversity. We're seeing a lot from the coaches and players in how we deal with it," said Marrone.
--Running back C.J. Spiller has been excused from the team for personal reasons. Spiller's step-grandfather is accused of killing two men and wounding two others before shooting himself in Landover, Md. on Saturday.
"Thoughts and prayers are with the victims and C.J.'s family," said Marrone.
--Undrafted rookie wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers was the biggest name among the Bills' roster cuts Monday.
"He has some skill ... We feel that we have better players on the roster than those released," said Marrone.
Also released: DB Domnique Ellis, CB Jumal Rolle, WR DeMarco Sampson, C Ryan Turnley.