ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Don’t count EJ Manuel out of the Buffalo Bills quarterback competition just yet.

After spending much of the previous two weeks working with the Bills’ second- and third-stringers, Manuel will get his turn to start in Buffalo’s third preseason game against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Coach Rex Ryan made the announcement following practice Thursday, when the team returned to Orchard Park after breaking camp in suburban Rochester.

Acknowledging he didn’t have an exact plan on who would start in the Bills’ third preseason game when training camp started, Ryan said Manuel “earned the shot at this.” Ryan based that assessment on how Manuel went a combined 13 of 22 for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the second half of each of Buffalo’s first two preseason games.

The decision means all three quarterbacks competing for the No. 1 job will have had a start this preseason. Matt Cassel started the opener against Carolina, and Tyrod Taylor started against Cleveland last week.


MANZIEL TO MISS REST OF PRESEASON: Johnny Manziel will not play in Cleveland’s last two exhibition games because of lingering soreness in his right elbow.

Manziel has been shut down from throwing, and Browns coach Mike Pettine said the second-year QB will miss not only this Saturday’s game at Tampa Bay but Cleveland’s preseason finale at Chicago on Sept. 3.

It’s a setback for Manziel, who has shown improvement following a rough rookie season, which was followed by a seven-week stay in rehab.


GRIFFIN CLEARED TO PLAY: The Washington Redskins say an independent neurologist has cleared quarterback Robert Griffin III to play in Saturday’s exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Redskins announced Griffin’s status Thursday, a week after he was hurt in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions.

Earlier Thursday, Griffin evaded questions about when — or even if — he sustained a concussion last week.


LB BROOKS SENT HOME: Linebacker Ahmad Brooks has been banished from the San Francisco 49ers after being charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.

The team sent him home Thursday morning from Colorado, where they are holding joint practices with the Broncos before playing a preseason game against Denver on Saturday night.

General manager Trent Baalke said he wasn’t sure how long the expulsion will last or whether it would be permanent.


DT GUION SUSPENDED: The NFL suspended Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion without pay for the first three games of the regular season on Thursday, saying the eighth-year pro violated the league’s policy on substance abuse.

The 28-year-old Guion was arrested near his home in Florida in early February on felony charges of drug and firearm possession. A traffic stop turned up three-quarters of a pound of marijuana, a handgun and a bag containing more than $190,000 in cash.

Around the league

The Jets signed quarterback Josh Johnson, adding another veteran to the mix. They signed veteran Matt Flynn last week, but the ex-LSU star has yet to fully practice with a sore hamstring. ... The NFL reinstated Falcons team president Rich McKay as chairman of the Competition Committee after suspending him from the post for the use of artificial noise at Atlanta home games.