Buffalo Bills and New York Jets to start rookie quarterbacks on Sunday
Last Updated: September 5, 2013 10:50am
Geno Smith: Starts in place of injured Sanchez
Buffalo and the New York Jets will both head into the opening weekend of the NFL season with rookie starting quarterbacks.
EJ Manuel will make his debut for the Bills in Sunday's daunting clash against New England despite undergoing a minor knee operation just two weeks ago.
Geno Smith has been confirmed as the starter for the Jets against Tampa Bay after Mark Sanchez was ruled out with a shoulder injury sustained in a pre-season exhibition against the New York Giants.
Smith, a second-round draft pick, struggled against the Giants as he threw three interceptions while also taking a safety in an uncertain performance.
Jets coach Rex Ryan replaced Smith with Sanchez in the final quarter, when the quarterback suffered the injury that is expected to keep him sidelined for several weeks.
Meanwhile, Buffalo coach Doug Marrone has confirmed that Manuel has been passed fit to start against the Patriots, with undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel providing back-up.
"When you play, and if you're going to play, you can't think about any injuries that you have, whether it's something you had a procedure on, or a sprained finger or something like that," Marrone said.
"You've just got to go out there and play."
The NFL season gets underway on Thursday night as Batlimore travel to Denver - you can watch it live on Sky Sports 2HD from midnight