Manziel to reclaim starting role this week: report

Mon Dec 7, 2015 5:23pm EST
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(Reuters) - Johnny Manziel will regain the starting quarterback role for the struggling Cleveland Browns in this Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, according to a report on

Coach Mike Pettine said at his Monday press conference that he was not prepared to name his starting quarterback, but NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, citing a sourced informed of the decision, said Manziel would be under center for the game.

The Browns (2-10) have lost seven games in a row and need to evaluate what Manziel has to offer to prepare themselves better for the NFL Draft following the season.

Manziel, a 2014 first-round draft pick, had been named the starter for the rest of the year after a strong performance in Week 10, but was demoted the last two weeks after lying to the coaching staff about his partying during the bye week.

The quarterback with the party-boy reputation, who won the 2012 Heisman Trophy as top collegiate player with Texas A&M as a freshman, checked himself into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center following his 2014 NFL rookie season.

Manziel had promised coaches he would keep a low profile during the bye week but videos surfaced showing him partying on back-to-back nights in Austin, Texas, and a third night in Columbus, Ohio after attending a college football game. He then tried to cover-up his behavior.

Third-string quarterback Austin Davis took over the previous two weeks for the Browns. Last week with Davis at the helm, the Browns absorbed a 37-3 beating by the Bengals.

Manziel has gone 1-2 in three starts this season. Overall he has completed 59.4 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also fumbled five times in six appearances, losing three of them and been sacked 14 times.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

Nov 15, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports