Backup quarterback wasn’t thought to have a question mark next to it when the Buffalo Bills reported to training camp.

But the first two weeks of practice and Sunday’s preseason opener against the New York Giants have shown that Jeff Tuel has turned up the heat on Thad Lewis.

Coach Doug Marrone downplayed its significance, but Tuel was the first quarterback in after EJ Manuel in the Bills’ 17-13 loss to the Giants in the Hall of Fame game at Fawcett Stadium.

“Just part of our plan,” Marrone said. “We had a plan for them to play and how much we wanted them to play.”

When Marrone announced a competition for the No. 2 job early in camp, it came as a surprise to fans and media members following the team, but General Manager Doug Whaley explained why team has been pleased with Tuel.

“What we’ve seen from him in the spring and what he’s been doing in the preseason, it’s a definite competition,” Whaley told The Buffalo News after Sunday night’s game. “He performed well. He went out there and took us on a nice long drive. … We’re encouraged with him and hoping for him to just keep growing like he has so far.