The Browns rookie starting quarterback went down with a hamstring injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s 17-13 loss to the Panthers. Brian Hoyer came in and played pretty well, throwing for 134 yards on 7-13 passing with a touchdown and an interception. He led the Browns to a 13-10 fourth quarter lead when he hit tight end Jordan Cameron for an 81 yard touchdown pass. The Panthers would respond with 7 minutes to go in the game and sustain the lead the rest of the way.
Manziel was 3-8 for 38 yards before he left the game. He looked more capable than he did in his first start a week ago. It is unfortunate that he could not continue and his situation puts the Browns in a very precarious position moving forward. Manziel is questionable for the team’s season finale next Sunday. Head Coach Mike Pettine said he was not clear on how serious the injury was. For the season, Manziel is 18-35 passing for 143 yards with one rushing touchdown and two interceptions.
The Browns needed to be able to draw some sort of evaluation from Manziel’s play in these final three games that he was projected to start. At this point, any decision about Manziel one way or the other would be impractical. The Browns are forced to assess what they have seen from Manziel to this point, and it is difficult to predict whether those evaluating Manziel would be impressed or unimpressed.
Obviously, it is not fair to attach any kind of label to Manziel with such a small sample size to reference. Still, the Browns feel they have a playoff caliber roster and cannot afford the misapplication of their resources going into what could be Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine’s telltale season. It will be interesting to see how the Browns approach this off-season with so little information to predicate some very crucial decisions at quarterback.
By: Brad Ward
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