It remains to be seen whether EJ Manuel and Doug Marrone will make for a winning combination in the NFL, but the Buffalo Bills‘ franchise quarterback has already proven he has the determination of a champion. Just a little over two weeks removed from minor knee surgery, Manuel has already conquered his rehab and is all set to start week one of the regular season. Most importantly, it wasn’t luck that brought EJ back to practice so soon, it was good old fashioned hard work.
After working tirelessly to bounce back from his preseason surgery, often rehabbing 2-3 times per day, Manuel has returned. He is ready to compete, both physically and mentally.
“I felt I would be good to go a few days ago, as far as my knee,” Manuel said in an interview on Wednesday, “But other than that, I know mentally if I had the chance to go out and play, I’d be ready for it.”
Although it was a major gut-punch for fans to learn of Manuel’s knee injury, it may have ultimately been good for the Bills. The injury gave Manuel his first taste of adversity in the NFL, and he was able to show the league what he’s made of. There was no feeling sorry for himself, and no lapse in his mental preparation. There was only hard work and pure, battle-hardened confidence in his ability to return on time. Manuel will no doubt face plenty of setbacks in his NFL career, but the true test will be how he handles them.
If the past few weeks are any indication, fans of the Buffalo Bills should be excited. They have found, in their starting quarterback, someone with the heart and mind of a winner.