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The Buffalo Bills are planning to bench Tyrod Taylor in their regular-season finale against the New York Jets and start EJ Manuel at quarterback, league sources have told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Rex Ryan lasted less than two seasons as head coach of the Bills, compiling a 15-16 record in 31 games with Buffalo.
The Bills fired head coach Rex Ryan and his brother, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, on Tuesday, less than three days after being eliminated from postseason contention with a 34-31 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Buffalo also named offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn as Ryan’s interim replacement for Week 17.
After Ryan made it publicly clear Monday that he intended to start Taylor in Week 17, the Bills management had a decision to make, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. Buffalo could allow Ryan to coach against the Jets for his “revenge game,” which was the original plan in recent weeks, or fire him to avoid the potential risk of an injury to Taylor.
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Ultimately, management felt it was wise to fire Ryan now, keeping Taylor off the field, because of the injury guarantees that would be owed to Taylor if he was hurt and could not pass a physical March 11 — the day when he’d be owed guarantees valued at $27.5 million.
The team also does not want to take any chances with Taylor’s health, especially after Oakland’s Derek Carr and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota suffered season-ending leg injuries in Week 16.