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Saturday NFL Notes

The QB competition in Buffalo took a twist on Saturday, as the team announced that rookie E.J. Manuel (knee) will undergo minor surgery and miss the remainder of the preseason. The team said his status would be reevaluated at that time, leaving his status for Week 1 up in the air. Manuel had been the favorite to win the starting job, but clearly this opens the door for Kevin Kolb to take the job, and he will get the start the next preseason game. Manuel had looked strong so far, but missing that much practice as a rookie could make it tough for Doug Marrone to throw him out there for the season opener.

In other quarterback competition news, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is still yet to name a starter for the team’s third preseason game next Saturday, but said that decision will be announced on Monday. After Nick Foles got the start on Friday, Michael Vick took the majority of first-team reps in Saturday’s practice. The third preseason game tends to be the most serious dress rehearsal, so Kelly’s decision could provide insight on who will get the nod on September 9.

Mike Smith said Roddy White (sprained ankle) will not play in the third preseason game, likely ending his preseason altogether. The injury does not appear to be worrisome, though, as Smith acknowledged that the wideout would likely play if it were in the regular season. He should be ready for Week 1.

Speaking of Falcons pass-catchers, TE Tony Gonzalez is expected to return to the team on Sunday and play in the next preseason game vs. Tennessee. Gonzalez had left training camp after two days, and will take the field in order to get some more practice with Matt Ryan.

After leaving Saturday’s practice in an ambulance, Chargers WR Eddie Royal has been diagnosed with a bruised lung, and is being further tested for a concussion. The team is yet to announce a timetable for his return, but it could allow for more opportunities for receivers Vincent Brown, Keenan Allen, and Seyi Ajirotutu.

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