Don’t expect to see Johnny Manziel get his first meaningful playing time in Buffalo.
Manziel, the Cleveland Browns’ much-hyped rookie quarterback, has thrown just one pass this season. The 22nd overall pick in May’s NFL Draft has made more of his headlines off the field, including last week when he was allegedly involved in an altercation at his downtown Cleveland residence.
Browns coach Mike Pettine said his team is satisfied with Manziel’s explanation of events – that he was confronted in an aggressive manor.
“I wouldn’t say it’s been a distraction,” P:ettine said. “You’re going to have players that get involved. With the information we have, we’re comfortable with knowing what happened and it’s not a situation where we’re going to discipline him.
“We tell our guys, and I know a lot of staffs do throughout the league, you just have to be careful. Careful who you surround yourself with and what situations you put yourself in. Nothing good happens after midnight. That’s the biggest teaching moment that we can take from it,” Pettine added.
The police report in regards to the Manziel incident states a time of 2:36 a.m., which has been the Browns’ biggest concern.
Given Manziel’s status as a former Heisman Trophy winner and first-round pick, there will always be questions about when he’s going to get into the lineup. But Pettine has made it clear he’s sticking with incumbent Brian Hoyer – even though he threw three interceptions last week in narrowly blowing a game against the Falcons.
“We didn’t consider it,” Pettine said of making a quarterback change for Sunday’s game. “Brian’s had some games where he’s had some throws that he’s wanted to have over and made some mistakes. We know he’s not going to bat 1.000, but our guys believe in Brian and he’s brought us back before.
“We had a big comeback against Tennessee where he made some clutch throws late. Even back to the New Orleans game, where we were in the same situation, he drove us from our own 5-yard line into field goal range. At no point during the game did we discuss replacing him,” he said.
Because they played Monday night, the Bills altered their schedule and practiced Thursday instead of taking the day off. The team was off Tuesday instead.
“Good,” is how Bills coach Doug Marrone described the team’s energy level for practice on a holiday. “Yesterday, I think we were adjusting back, coming off of a Monday night. I thought today we were much fresher and much better.”
Safety Bacarri Rambo sat out practice after hurting his hamstring on the second-to-last play of Wednesday’s session. Tight end Chris Gragg (knee) and defensive end Jarius Wynn (knee) also sat out. Tight end Lee Smith returned to practice Thursday after sitting out a day because of illness.
Wide receiver Robert Woods (ankle) and kicker Dan Carpenter (groin) were limited in practice for a second straight day. Both are expected to be fine for Sunday’s game – barring setbacks.
Browns linebackers Karlos Dansby (knee) and Jabaal Sheard (foot), safety Tashaun Gipson (knee) and receiver Marlon Moore (hamstring) sat out practice. Tight Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited, as was defensive lineman Athyba Rubin (back).
Marrone said newly signed kick/punt returner Marcus Thigpen could see action as soon as Sunday.
“That’s why we brought him in now – to look at him,” Marrone said. “We’ve got a couple days to look at him, but that was our thought process.”