EJ Manuel Benched for Cardale Jones vs. Jets: Latest Comments, Reaction

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2017

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 01: Cardale Jones #7 of the Buffalo Bills runs for a short gain in the fourth quarter of the preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 1, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Bills 31-0. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Rookie quarterback Cardale Jones saw his first action of the regular season Sunday after the Buffalo Bills benched starter EJ Manuel.

Manuel—who was starting his first game of the year in place of Tyrod Taylor—was 9-of-20 for 86 passing yards and no touchdowns through three quarters before being benched. The Bills trailed the New York Jets 20-3 when they made the lineup change.

Jones was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft out of Ohio State.

The Bills have gone through an interesting overhaul in the final week of the season. The organization fired head coach Rex Ryan, replacing him with offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. The Bills later announced the decision to keep Taylor off the field in Week 17 to avoid a potential injury that could guarantee the remainder of his contract.

Manuel was given the start, but the former first-round pick has struggled in the NFL while totaling just a 6-10 record as a starter in four seasons. He entered the day with 19 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions in his career.

Meanwhile, Jones could end up the only quarterback on the roster who carries over to next season. While he hadn't gotten onto the field as a rookie, he showed flashes of strong play during the preseason.

At 6'5" and 250 pounds with good athleticism, the 24-year-old possesses a lot of potential that he will now get a chance to showcase.


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