Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel likely out with a concussion


Dec 20, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) walks along the sidelines after throwing an interception late in the fourth quarter in a game againt the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 30-13. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel’s season is likely over as he is now in the NFL-mandated concussion protocol.

In news that would be surprising anywhere but Cleveland, quarterback Johnny Manziel will likely miss Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a concussion.

The team announced that Manziel has entered the NFL-mandated concussion protocol after complaining of concussion-like symptoms when he arrived at team headquarters for practice on Wednesday.

This will be the second year in a row that Manziel will finish the season on the sidelines rather than on the field.

In two seasons Manziel has appeared in just 14 games, completing 57 percent of his passes for 1,675 yards, seven touchdown passes, seven interceptions and seven fumbles, while posting a quarterback rating of 74.4.

Manziel appeared in nine games this season, making six starts and playing all but the opening series of the season-opening game against the New York Jets.

Against the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers, teams with a combined record of 7-23, Manziel completed 63 percent of his passes for 442 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Against the Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs, Manziel completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,019 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.

With the likelihood of his season being over, that is the body of work that the front office and coaching staff, whoever they may be, will have to study to determine if Manziel remains in the mix for the starting role in 2016, or if the Browns will use a draft pick (or make a trade) on another quarterback.

Austin Davis is expected to get the start in Manziel’s place, meaning that for the fourth consecutive year, and fifth in the past six, the Browns will trot out a player who was their third-string quarterback for the season finale.

If he does take the field, Davis will join a list that is every bit as depressing as you will find in the NFL.:

  • Connor Shaw (14-of-28 for 177 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in 2014)
  • Jason Campbell (22-of-41 for 240 yards, one touchdown and one interception in 2013)
  • Thad Lewis (22-of-32 for 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception in 2012)
  • Bruce Gradkowski (five-of-16 for 18 yards and two interceptions in 2008) andDoug Pederson (13-of-30 for 75 yards in 2000)

Need we mention that none of those quarterbacks led the Browns to a victory? Or that the Browns have not won a season finale since 2009?

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We didn’t think so.

In addition to Manziel, the may also be without starting cornerback Tramon Williams, who was also placed in the concussion protocol.

With Williams likely out, head coach Mike Pettine said the Browns will turn to Justin Gilbert and Pierre Desir as the starting quarterback against the Steelers, who come into the game averaging 26 points a game, have the fifth-best passing offense in the NFL, and need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Steelers will also be bringing wide receiver Antonio Brown, who in nine career games against the Browns has 54 receptions for 867 yards and six touchdowns.

With Gilbert on the field, Flipper Anderson’s NFL record for most receiving yards in a game may be in serious jeopardy.

In other words, just another typical season-ending game for the Orange and Brown.