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Rex Ryan: ‘I would not rule out Tyrod Taylor starting this week’

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Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan attempted to refute previous reports this week that Tyrod Taylor could miss up to several weeks with an MCL sprain by hinting the quarterback could even suit up this Sunday against the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.

“I would not rule out Tyrod Taylor starting this week,” Ryan said during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “He’s got heart, he’s got toughness.”

While that may in fact be the case, trotting out a quarterback playing on one leg wouldn’t be the most advisable of decisions, which means Ryan’s comments very likely could be a case of gamesmanship on behalf of the outspoken Ryan. After all, the Bills were forced to bring in Josh Johnson this week to provide depth at the quarterback position.

Further, Ryan’s comments about Taylor’s potential availability Sunday stand in stark contrast to his earlier comments, in which he indicated that the signal-caller was “banged up” and “sore” on Monday after he was taken down by Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown with a horse collar tackle during the Bills’ 14-13 win.

“You ought to see him,” Ryan said. “He is sore, and we knew he would be.”

The reasonable assumption at this point is the Bills will start EJ Manuel Sunday against the Bengals with the newcomer Johnson backing him up, unless Taylor actually can take part in practices at some point this week.

It’s certainly wishful thinking on Ryan’s part to hold out hope that Taylor — who has completed 70.1 percent of passes and thrown nine touchdowns to four interceptions (good for a 103.6 rating) — can give it a go, but if reports indicating he has a sprained MCL are indeed accurate, the chances of him suiting up are slim to none. Even Ben Roethlisberger, one of the toughest quarterbacks of recent memory, remains sidelined due in part to the same injury, and Big Ben suffered his during a game on Sept. 27, not Oct. 11.