Johnny Manziel named as Browns’ starter, per report
Johnny Football is happening in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Browns have seen enough of Brian Hoyer. After another poor outing and another loss amidst an increasingly frantic playoff race, Jay Glazer reports that Johnny Manziel will start on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Glazer says Hoyer and Manziel were informed on Tuesday morning that Manziel would be under center in Week 15. Head coach Mike Pettine made the decision on Monday afternoon, according to Ian Rapoport on NFL Media.
Hoyer completed only 14 of his 31 passes in a 25-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts over the weekend, throwing for just 140 yards, no touchdowns and a pair of picks. That performance comes just a week after he was benched for Manziel in the fourth quarter in a loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Manziel impressed when given his first significant playing time, relieving a struggling Hoyer and immediately driving the Browns downfield for their only touchdown against the Bills, a 10-yard keeper. The rookie attempted just eight passes, but the performance was impressive enough that Pettine acknowledged after the game that the staff would consider turning to Manziel full time.
Pettine ultimately decided to stick with Hoyer against the Colts, a decision that backfired with the loss.
A change at quarterback is rare for a team in the heart of a division race in December, but Hoyer’s recent struggles leave the Browns with little choice. In his last four starts, Hoyer has thrown eight interceptions to just one touchdown and completed a paltry 50 percent of his passes. Cleveland has lost three of those four games, going from first to worst in the AFC North.
Manziel was the 22nd pick in this year’s draft and was immediately viewed as the Browns’ future at quarterback. Cleveland traded the 26th pick and a third-round pick in order to move up and select the Heisman winner from Texas A&M. Now that Manziel’s earned his first start in the NFL, and amid reports that Hoyer won’t return to the Browns next season, it looks like the future is now.