A week after declaring that Johnny Manziel would be the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season, the Browns announced today that Josh McCown is returning to the starting lineup for Week 12. The decision comes in the wake of head coach Mike Pettine telling reporters that he was “very” disappointed in Manziel after video footage surfaced of the second-year QB partying at a nightclub in Austin, Texas.
“Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens,” Pettine said in a statement. “I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O’Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback. I’ve spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.
“Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward.”
Not only will Manziel not be starting this Monday, but he’ll find himself third on the depth chart. According to the club, Austin Davis will be McCown’s backup, and will be the next man up if the veteran struggles or goes down with an injury.
In the wake of Manziel’s latest off-field incident, his future in Cleveland has become increasingly murky. While he remains under contract through the 2017 season, with a team option for 2018, Manziel appears to be running out of chances to become the long-term answer at the quarterback spot for the Browns.