Browns don’t know if Manziel made trip to Vegas
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns are searching for a new coach, general manager — and Johnny Manziel.
His weekend itinerary remains a mystery.
The team doesn’t seem to know whether their polarizing second-year quarterback, who sustained a concussion last week in Kansas City, went to Las Vegas on Saturday as his teammates got ready for their season finale.
Manziel was not going to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers because he’s in the NFL’s protocol on head injuries. And while Manziel wasn’t required to be at the stadium, owner Jimmy Haslam wasn’t sure of the 23-year-old’s whereabouts.
“I’m not exactly sure where Johnny is,” Haslam said Sunday night. “Haven’t talked to him. I know our football people will be on top of that.”
Haslam said Manziel failed to report to the medical staff — as required for players with concussions — for treatment at the team’s facility on Sunday.
USA Today quoted an employee and patron who said they saw Manziel at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood on Saturday. The report said that Manziel, who sustained his head injury while rushing for 108 yards last week against Kansas City, ate at a restaurant in the casino and sat down at a blackjack table.
Typically, players who have concussions are sensitive to noise, light and are encouraged to rest as they recover. The Browns do not require concussed players to be at the stadium for home games.
While his teammates ended a 3-13 season, which was followed by the firings of coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer, Manziel was not at FirstEnergy Stadium as the Steelers beat the Browns 28-12.
But as always, Manziel was a topic of conversation.
As social media caught wind of his reported trip to Vegas, Manziel posted a photo on his Twitter account Saturday night of him lying on the floor with his dog. He used the hashtag #SaturdayNights.
Manziel had a second turbulent season with Cleveland, which drafted him in the first round in 2014. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner started six games, and while he did show progress on the field, he continued to be a distraction off it.
Before he was fired, Pettine said Manziel needs to address personal issues.
“Here is a guy that has an NFL skillset,” Pettine said. “He’s very talented. If you spend some time with him, he’s a likable guy. You root for him, but there are problems there. We’ll talk as we’re headed to the offseason about getting addressed to make sure that, I said this before, we want to make sure that all of our places are grounded or in good shape as people first, players second. I don’t think you can be as effective as you can be as a player if things aren’t right off the field and he’s a good example of that.”
Manziel spent 10 weeks in a rehab facility last winter specializing in drug and alcohol abuse. He began the season as Josh McCown’s backup, eventually took over as starter and was benched two games by Pettine after a video surfaced of him partying in Austin, Texas, during the team’s bye week.
Haslam would not speculate on Manziel’s future with the team, deferring any decision to his next coach and GM.
“That will be completely their call,” Haslam said. “Ultimately, as the owner you do have say. I just don’t think right now is the time to comment on that. There will be plenty of time to work on that over the next several months.”
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