With Josh McCown out for the rest of the season with a broken collarbone, the Browns won’t hand the reins back to Johnny Manziel — at least not yet. The team announced today in a press release that Austin Davis will get the start in Week 13 against the Bengals.
“Austin took advantage of his opportunity on Monday night. He was prepared, played well and put us in position to win,” said head coach Mike Pettine in a statement. “He’s been great in the quarterback room all season and he has earned the right to start on Sunday. We expect him to play well.”
Davis was called upon on Monday when McCown went down, with Manziel serving as the No. 3 quarterback in that game, so today’s decision doesn’t come as a real surprise. Still, it shows that the Browns are serious about disciplining the second-year signal-caller for his off-field behavior.
Manziel, who turns 23 this coming Sunday, was removed from the starting job last week after photos surfaced of him partying at a nightclub in Austin. Reports indicated that the Texas A&M product lied to the Browns about the photos, though the club never confirmed that.
At some point, particularly if Davis struggles mightily or goes down with an injury of his own, the Browns may determine that it’s worth getting a look at Manziel down the stretch, with the team well out of playoff contention. For now though, he’ll serve as Davis’ backup as the Browns prepare for Cincinnati.