Orton makes his practice debut in Buffalo

This is a photo of Kyle Orton of the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team. This image reflects the Dallas Cowboys active roster as of Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Kyle Orton’s practice debut has brightened Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone’s outlook regarding his team’s backup quarterback position behind starter EJ Manuel.

In the matter of a week, Marrone has gone from being concerned to expressing confidence after Orton practiced Monday, two days after signing a one-year contract.

Marrone noted that Orton is a nine-year veteran who has experience as both a starter and a backup. Marrone revealed the Bills first targeted signing Orton “very early” into training camp. He acknowledged the need for the contingency plan emerged because of the lack of progress shown by former backups Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel.

Orton takes over the No. 2 spot as the Bills prepare to open the season at Chicago on Sunday

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