Bills QB Tyrod Taylor not at practice for 'veteran's day off'

ByMike Rodak ESPN logo
Thursday, December 29, 2016

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Two days after being benched for the regular-season finale Sunday, Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was not on the practice field while reporters were present Thursday.

The Bills officially listed Taylor's absence as non-injury related.

Interim coach Anthony Lynn said Thursday that Taylor's absence was a "veteran's day off."

"It's a lot easier to be off your feet, staying inside, rather than being out here for two or three hours, standing on the turf field doing nothing," Lynn said. "So we -- I gave him the veteran's day off."

Taylor was listed as a full participant at practice Wednesday with a lingering groin injury. He declined to speak to reporters after that practice.

Taylor will soon be traveling to Philadelphia to meet with Dr. William Meyers, the surgeon who operated on New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul, to determine if he needs groin/hernia surgery, sources confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter. If Taylor does indeed need surgery, it is not expected to impact his free agency as he should be recovered by then.

Lynn confirmed Wednesday that backup EJ Manuel will start Sunday against the New York Jets over Taylor in what Lynn termed a "business decision." Taylor would be guaranteed $30 million if he suffered an injury that prevented him from passing a physical by March 11.

Of Taylor's groin injury, Lynn said Thursday, "He's played with it. It's there. He gets treatment on it often. He's played with it."

After Lynn initially told reporters the decision to bench Taylor was "our decision," he later revealed he was not in the room when the decision was made.

When pressed about his role in the decision to bench Taylor, Lynn responded, "I can't speak for the owner. I can't speak for the GM. They'll have to speak for themselves."

Lynn, who served as offensive coordinator from Week 3 until being promoted to interim coach Tuesday, expressed interest in continuing to work with Taylor this offseason if he becomes the Bills' permanent coach.

"What I've seen is a young quarterback that has a lot of potential to continue to develop," he said. "It will be interesting to have him for an offseason and see exactly where he can go."

The Bills have until March 11 to decide whether to exercise Taylor's option for the 2018 through 2021 seasons. He will be guaranteed $30.75 million if the Bills exercise the option, or he will be guaranteed $27.5 million if the Bills decline the option but keep him on their roster past March 12.

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