BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Johnny Manziel’s elbow soreness isn’t going away, so the Browns are shutting him down.
Despite extra rest and not throwing for two days in practice this week, Manziel’s right elbow has not responded and coach Mike Pettine said the second-year quarterback will likely sit out Saturday’s exhibition at Tampa Bay.
“It hasn’t bounced all the way back,” Pettine said. “We’re going to err on the side of caution.”
An MRI did not reveal any structural damage in Manziel’s elbow, but Pettine acknowledged for the first time that the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has dealt with elbow issues since high school.
Manziel has been slowed by soreness for at least the past two weeks of training camp, and his elbow flared up Sunday on a long throw, forcing off the field for the final 30 minutes of practice. He didn’t throw on Monday, and following a scheduled off day for the team, Manziel was again limited to just handing the ball off during Wednesday’s workout.
Afterward, Pettine said the Browns will discuss signing another quarterback. If Manziel is out, the team is down to just presumed starter Josh McCown and veteran backup Thad Lewis. Connor Shaw, who started Cleveland’s season finale in 2014, recently underwent ligament surgery on his right thumb and will miss significant time.
While the Browns are downplaying Manziel’s injury, it’s more drama for the 22-year-old whose bad rookie season was followed by a 10-week rehab stint for an unspecified condition. The team has been satisfied with Manziel’s progress on and off the field, and Pettine doesn’t view the injury as a roadblock in his development.
“I just see it as a minor setback,” Pettine said. “If this was something he hadn’t experienced before and the MRI showed some damage, I mean I would be a lot more concerned. But it being something that he has dealt with before, we’re confident that just shutting it down for just a little bit longer it will all come back. We’re very pleased with where he is and I just see it as a minor setback.”
Manziel was not available for interviews following practice.
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