"I've definitely waited for this opportunity but I want to be smart moving forward. I want to be able to play at a high level," Taylor said Wednesday. "If I can't do that, then the coaches will make a decision off of that. But the knee is getting better and it feels better than it did yesterday. Just taking it day by day."
Taylor wore a knee brace in practice but hasn't done "too much" lateral movement this week.
"As long as I can sit back there and throw, I feel like I can be productive," he said. "It's definitely a stability thing, but as far as moving around, we'll see how that goes tomorrow. See if it's feeling better. But it hasn't limited me much."
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) also wants to play Sunday for the Bills against the undefeated Bengals.
"I definitely should be out there this Sunday, whether I'm hurt [or not]. It's a big game, they're 5-0," he said Wednesday. "I'm pretty sure they'll probably switch the coverage to my side and leave other guys one-on-one."
Watkins has not played since suffering a calf injury in the first quarter of the Bills' Week 3 win over the Miami Dolphins.
"I can't really go out there hoping that it doesn't pop," he said. "If it does, there's more life to live. You've got the next year and hopefully the next year. I'm going to go out there trying to win a game. If it pops, it pops. If it don't, hopefully I'll be right for the next week."
Bills coach Rex Ryan said Monday that Taylor was "banged up" and "sore" but did not specify any injury. CBS Sports reported Tuesday that Taylor has a sprained MCL and "might miss multiple games."
"I know it's been widely reported that Tyrod is not playing," Ryan said Wednesday. "That's news to me. That may or may not be the case, but that's certainly not official. We'll see how it goes."
Asked whether it's accurate to say Taylor has a sprained MCL, Ryan responded, "Yeah, probably."
He later added, "He's all right guys. We'll see how he is."
Ryan told SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier Wednesday that he would not rule Taylor out as starting Sunday.
Taylor rushed for a Bills quarterback record 76 yards in Sunday's 14-13 win over the Tennessee Titans but had to leave the game for one play in the fourth quarter after being injured on a horse-collar tackle by Titans linebacker Zach Brown.
"I think EJ did a tremendous job for us in the preseason," Ryan said Wednesday. "I know there's a lot of criticism out there that we moved [Matt] Cassel and all that stuff, but we moved Cassel because of EJ and his development. So we'll see. If [Manuel] has to play, we're very comfortable and confident that he'll do a great job for us."
Johnson, 29, was released Monday by the Indianapolis Colts after two stints with the team this season. Johnson was a fallback option in two games in case Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck were unavailable to play.
It's not the first time Taylor has been injured this season.
"Guys, he hasn't been 100 percent all season," Ryan said Monday. "He's had an ankle [injury] ... even through training camp. We really haven't seen the 100 percent Tyrod Taylor."