Thaddeus Lewis will start at QB for the Buffalo Bills this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Lewis is not exactly a household name. He had been on the Bills’ practice squad for the first five weeks of the season before getting the call to replace the injured E.J. Manuel.
So now Bills fans as well as many other avid football watchers around the country are asking the same question — who the heck is Thad Lewis? I’ll try to answer as much as I can for you.
Lewis was born in Opa-Locka, FL on November 19, 1987. He is a graduate of Duke University. He started at QB for the Blue Devils in each of his four seasons at the school. In his career, he threw for 10,065 yards, 67 TDs, 40 INTs and a 59.4 percent completion rate. He had a career QB rating of 127.7.
He was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien award (given to the nation’s top QB) in his senior season, but lost out to Colt McCoy from Texas. Lewis’ Duke teams were hardly competitive. They finished 0-12 in his freshman year, and inched up to 1-11 when he was a sophomore. In his junior season, Duke jumped up to 4-8 and he hit his high water mark in his senior season when the school went 5-7.
Lewis was not drafted in the 2010 NFL draft and was signed as a free agent by the St. Louis Rams after the draft. He did not see any action for the Rams and was cut the following year prior to the start of the regular season. The Cleveland Browns claimed him off waivers and kept him on the roster for the 2011 season.
Lewis made the Browns out of camp in 2012, but was waived on October 11. After clearing waivers, he was placed on the Browns’ practice squad where he remained until December 24, when he was called upon to make the only start of his NFL career for the Browns against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had a decent day, going 22 of 32 for 204 yards with a TD and an INT. That would be his only NFL action to date.
Lewis was waived again by the Browns in May and was claimed by the Detroit Lions. Lewis went into camp with the Lions but before the final preseason game, he was traded to the Bills in exchange for LB Chris White. Lewis played in the Bills’ final preseason game but was waived yet again prior to the start of the season. Lewis cleared waivers and was placed on the Bills’ practice squad where he remained until Manuel’s injury.
Now Lewis gets to write his next paragraph as starting QB for the Bills. Lewis and backup Jeff Tuel are the only QBs on the roster, and anyone who would be subsequently added would need a few weeks to get up to speed. There has also been rumors about optimism concerning Manuel’s status, so a quicker return would mean that it would likely remain Lewis’ job for the duration of the recovery.
Either way, Lewis gets his shot and would be wise to take it a game at a time.