Teammates offer support for Manuel after benching

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Several players spoke out in support of EJ Manuel after Sunday’s loss to Houston. A day later, Bills head coach Doug Marrone benched Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton.

Wednesday was the first day of practice since the switch, and several of Manuel’s teammates said they have tried to offer words of encouragement to help him deal with the situation.

“I just told him, just stay in their mentally,” said C.J. Spiller. “Any time you see one of your close friends down, you have to stick up. We preach family around here, but this is the time when family has to stick up when one’s down. You never know what’s going to happen in this league, so I have to make sure he’s ready to go whenever his number is called again.”

Even Orton has been in those shoes earlier in his career.

“I’ve been there. EJ’s going to be a great quarterback. He’s got a long time to grow. I know when it happened to me early in my career, wasn’t happy about it at all. But looking back, that time off that I had, I really grew as a player and took it to my advantage, and I’m sure he’ll do that as well,” said Orton. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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