Newton rips ‘classless’ reaction to Manziel’s injury
CHARLOTTE — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said his counterpart Sunday, Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel, "has a lot to learn."
Newton also said Manziel deserves better than the reaction Newton said he heard from some fans when Manziel left Sunday’s game with 1:49 left in the first half after suffering a hamstring injury.
Newton said he heard fans cheering as Manziel was attended to by members of the Browns medical staff.
"That was classless," Newton said. "Anytime a person is hurt, you don’t celebrate."
Manziel watched the second half from the Browns sideline. He said he was willing to go back in the game if necessary.
"I was saddened to see the crowd’s response to him getting hurt," Newton said. "I’ve had that done in my career and it takes the integrity out of the game. I told Johnny after the game I was pulling for him and I hope in the offseason we can link up.
"For the crowd to respond that way, we’re better than that. That’s not who we are."
Newton played for the first time since a Dec. 9 auto accident near Bank of America Stadium that left him with two small fractures in his back.
Newton won the Heisman Trophy in 2010. Manziel became the first freshman ever to win it in 2012.
"I’m a fan of Johnny’s like a lot of people are," Newton said. "There’s just a learning curve."
Manziel was 3-of-8 for 32 yards before the injury. Newton finished 18-of-31 for 201 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown.