Johnny Manziel ‘excited about the opportunity’ to start

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is excited to start his second game of the season on prime-time tonight against the undefeated and AFC North leading Bengals.
Jason Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

By Jason Rowan

The Cleveland Browns announced Wednesday that Johnny Manziel will get the nod in the team’s Thursday night showdown with the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals since Josh McCown won’t be able to give it a go due to a rib injury. The second-year quarterback indicated not only is he “excited” to get the start, he feels he’s sufficiently “prepared” to go out and compete.

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Manziel said per a statement issued by the Browns, via Pro Football Talk. “Starting against the Titans [in Week 2] seems like such a long time ago but I’ve been in games for the last two weeks and with every opportunity I get, I try to make the most of them.

“I feel like I’ve gotten two solid days of reps with the first team on this short week so I’m confident that I will be prepared and ready to go tomorrow night.”

After an erratic rookie campaign in which he appeared in five games and threw two interceptions and no touchdowns — although he did have one rushing touchdown — Manziel has performed much better this season when he’s had the chance to play. He’s appeared in four games this season, including one start against the Titans and one in relief of an injured McCown in a Week 1 game against the Jets. All told, Manziel has posted decent numbers, completing 56 percent of his passes for 393 yards to go with three touchdowns and only one interception, good for a 93.2 quarterback rating.

Controversy has continued to plague Manziel in his second season. The NFL recently initiated an investigation into a roadside incident involving the quarterback and his girlfriend on Oct. 12 related to whether he violated the league’s personal conduct policy. Manziel met with a league representative last week and it was reported that the league would not punish Manziel for the incident. However, an NFL spokesperson later contradicted that report by indicating the league’s investigation was ongoing.

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