Tyrod Taylor, whose contract with the Buffalo Bills is guaranteed against injury, could be headed for surgery.
The Bills' quarterback might need an offseason procedure to repair a groin issue with which he has dealt for the past month, The Buffalo News learned Thursday. Taylor is due to travel to Philadelphia in the near future to get an opinion on whether he might need a sports-hernia operation, an NFL source said.
On Wednesday, interim coach Anthony Lynn said EJ Manuel will start in Taylor's place for Sunday's season-finale against the New York Jets. The coach called it a "business decision," presumably based on the fact Taylor has an injury guarantee in his contract and that the team would be committed to paying him $27.5 million next year even if he were hurt badly and couldn't play.
Depending on when the surgery takes place, Taylor's recovery would likely be about a month, according to the source. The Bills have until March 11 to determine whether to pick up the option on his contract.
Taylor, who was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice, was held out of practice Thursday. Lynn said the quarterback was given a "veteran's day off" in order to "get him off his feet."
"It's a lot easier to be off your feet staying inside rather than standing out here for two-three hours on a turf field doing nothing," the coach said, adding that it was just for the day because Thursday was one of the longer practices of the week.
Lynn acknowledged that Taylor has "played with (a groin injury), it's there, he gets treatment on it often."
Taylor's absence raised questions about whether he was staging some sort of protest over his benching after a career-best performance against Miami last Saturday. After practice, he pulled a News reporter aside briefly to say he was not seeking to leave the team.
If Taylor requires surgery, the timing could conflict with the March 11 date that the Bills must decide if they want to pick up his contract-extension option.
Lynn thought Manuel looked "a lot better" in practice Thursday than he did Wednesday.
"He looked good," the coach said. "(Wednesday) he was a little tight. (Thursday) he was more relaxed."
Lynn said rookie Cardale Jones "looks like" he'll be the No. 2 quarterback Sunday, but "possibly all three quarterbacks could be up as well."