Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone announced Friday that Thad Lewis will get the start at quarterback Sunday at New England.
Starting quarterback EJ Manuel will likely not play in the regular-season finale with a sprained left knee that also kept him out of last week's game against Miami.
Manuel, who is listed as doubtful, missed four consecutive games after spraining his right knee in early October.
"It was a tough decision," Marrone said on the team's website. "EJ was practicing hard all week trying to come back and basically it goes back to the injury didn't progress as well as I wanted it to. He wanted to go out there and play, but I need him to play at 110 percent for us to win. So he wasn't going to be able to go out there and play at 110 percent. He could have played, but not at the level that we need for us to win.
"Thad has done a nice job and he's the backup quarterback, so we're putting him in there and he'll be the starter Sunday."
Manuel has completed 180-of-306 passes for 1,972 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 10 starts this season, his first in the NFL.
Lewis will be making his fifth start for the Bills. He threw for 193 yards with one interception on 15-of-25 passing in last Sunday's 19-0 win over the Dolphins.
Wide receiver Stevie Johnson (personal) and safety Aaron Williams (ribs) have been ruled out for Sunday's game.