The curious timing of Manziel’s concussion


On Monday, Browns coach Mike Pettine, who previously said that “harsh repercussions” would flow from any further Johnny Manziel incident, told reporters that: (1) he hadn’t seen Manziel’s latest party-boy video; and (2) Pettine planned to watch the video and talk to Manziel about it. On Wednesday, when Manziel showed up for work, he reported that he has concussion-like symptoms from three days earlier — before Pettine could meet with Manziel about the video.

It doesn’t take a non-concussed brain to realize that the easiest way for a 23-year-old with a history of off-field issues and no self-awareness to avoid getting in trouble at work (again) would be to claim that he has headaches and/or other symptoms of a concussion. Everyone associated with the NFL is currently petrified of letting a player take the field with a head injury. Given the lack of a thermometer-in-the-orifice style test for diagnosing a concussion, the Browns physicians weren’t about to dispute Manziel’s claims.

So Manziel avoids “harsh repercussions” from Pettine, who possibly won’t be employed by the Browns this time next week. Manziel also avoids the risk of a Week 17 injury as he enters an offseason that could see him traded to a new team, possibly the one in his Lone Star home state with an owner who continues to have a clear interest in acquiring him.

Officially, Maziel legitimately has a concussion. Given the importance of the issue, I hesitate to even suggest that he’s possibly manipulating the system. But that’s the potential genius of faking it; it’s a silver-bullet excuse that no one will be willing to question.

Given some of the decisions Manziel has made — and the lengths to which he has gone to take the sting out of those decisions (including reportedly recruiting others to lie about the timing of the creation of the bye-week video that got him on double-secret probation with Pettine) — Manziel fits the profile of a guy who at least would be tempted to take advantagage of the league’s concussion sensitivity to avoid a tough meeting with his boss, and possibly a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

From Cleveland’s perspective, putting Manziel on ice for the final week of the season avoids the question of whether action should be taken in response to his latest party-boy video. Which avoids the kind of outcome that would result in his trade value declining as the offseason approaches.

Besides, there’s nothing the Browns can do for now, even if they suspect that he’s trying to avoid accountability for the latest defiance of his employer. After the season, they can do plenty. Trading Manziel to the Cowboys could be the option at the top of the list.

73 responses to “The curious timing of Manziel’s concussion

  1. If that theory really is true it tells you all you need to know about Manziel. But didn’t PFT just run an article where all the Browns players were saying how Johnny really does get it and it committed to the job? That same guy is now faking a concussion to avoid getting in trouble for going on a bender?

  2. OMG why is this guy so important to have ANYONE following him around to make videos of him?!! I think the Browns pay these losers to film Manziel and why is this high school like Coach keep letting this stuff distract his bad football team. Do you homework for a QB this offseason whether it be a Vet or Rookie GET IT RIGHT THIS TIME!!

  3. I thank God every day that my Vikings picked Teddy Bridgewater ahead of Manziel in the draft. What a head case this Manziel is (and I’m not talking about concussions).

  4. Jerry Jones is always enamored with guys who will never help him win.

    Is he really that stupid? How has he not gotten better at this????

  5. v2787 says:
    Dec 31, 2015 11:34 AM
    I thank God every day that my Vikings picked Teddy Bridgewater ahead of Manziel in the draft. What a head case this Manziel is (and I’m not talking about concussions).

    Yeah? Ahead of Johnny you say? Go back and check that pal!

  6. Manziel’s real problem is that he’s afflicted with affluenza, which causes a complete lack of self control, a complete disregard of others, and is incurable.

  7. it all makes sense except that I don’t think Manziel OR the Browns organization is that smart

  8. As much of a immature d-bag Johnny Manziel seems to be, there was nothing in that video that seems inappropriate. This is a matter of kicking him while he’s down and shows that once people have a perception about you, you have a very small margin for error going forward. All I saw in that video was a young man singing with a buddy holding a canned beverage. It could’ve been an energy drink, it might have been a beer, either way there’s nothing inappropriate there.

  9. An alcoholic who went through rehab and almost immediately reverted and was caught drinking heavily.

    After being benched from his multi million dollar a year job as a result he has now reverted again.

    If I had a billion dollar business this is not who I would want in charge of one of the major departments.


  10. Please Jerrah, please, take this idiot from the Browns. Who knows, he may turn out to be the most gifted party animal you’ve ever seen.

  11. I wouldn’t put anything past Manziel including feigning concussion like symptoms !!!! After all, he is a certified head case.

  12. A post written by someone who obviously has kids. The problem with Manziel though is he’s 23 not 16. Also this is the kind of prideful, blame-others, avoid consequences thinking that they should have burned out of him in rehab.

  13. It’s funny, but in a way this also decreases his value. Probably not enough to turn a 6th round pick into a 7th round pick… but he’s gotten an awful lot of little injuries that prevent him to play in his short time of playing. Adding a concussion to the list isn’t good.

    Some people, once they get concussions, can tend to get them more and more frequently. It doesn’t bode well for his future.

    It also showcases the lack of commitment, if the video is true…

    Wilson has his holy water
    Manziel has his fire water

  14. They should get rid of this loser as they will never be able to build a winning team around such a flake as Manziel who is a young lush.

  15. Concussions, the new version of migraines. I’m willing to bet the Browns and his agent concocted this excuse. Kudos to PFT for calling them out on this sham.

  16. Given the importance of the issue, I hesitate to even suggest that he’s possibly manipulating the system

    And yet, that’s EXACTLY what you just did…

    I’m neither a fan, nor a hater, of Johnny, but I do think this guy needs a break from the microscope for a while.

  17. OMG why is this guy so important to have ANYONE following him around to make videos of him?!! I think the Browns pay these losers to film Manziel

    Ummm… in this case, isn’t Manziel the “loser” thats filming Manziel?

    Full disclosure, I haven’t personally seen the video, but I heard guys on sports radio talking about his “selfie video” in the latest thing to come out.

  18. Pettine is toast. Manzel may be too but who wants to deal with that. Think about it. Cleveland is in a no win situation: trade him away and get practically nothing and if he does succeed you lost big.

    Or keep him and he either develops into something or if nothing else is a decent back up. If I had to bet I would think this is option one unless someone comes out of the woodwork screaming for his services.

  19. Oh please, of course this is a sham. By saying nothing is wrong, he did nothing wrong but has a concussion when in fact they have to be really pissed off again with him buys them time. For what no one knows

  20. so sick of everyone piling on this guy and watching his every move. he is 23 years and should have the right to do whatever he wants on his own time! if that affects him on the field he will know it and will force him to change his ways faster than any punishment his coach decides he should get for acting like a normal guy. the bottom line is the loser coach never wanted him and uses every excuse he can think of to bury him. I hope they cut him so he has a chance to go to a team that will give him a chance to play football and not worry about his off field behavior that so far has resulted in how many arrests? that would be zero! it’s football not choir practice let him be already!

  21. @SparkyGump…. that’s priceless Lmao@ Jeruh, what a bumbling clown and embarrassment to the league…

  22. I think you might have this one backward. The Browns might just be done with the frat boy. They may have given him an ultimatum. Say you have a concussion and it doesn’t look bad for anyone. If not, a very public benching for acting like a child ensues. That would make it much more difficult for his future job prospects so he probably complied.

  23. In a forum with some many other couch-evaluators of talent, has this guy really shown anything? From my view, he is undersized, mildly elusive, and destined for 3rd string roles. Why would anyone trade for this guy, notwithstanding the latest, somewhat tame video?

    For a guy who was in rehab, to have several additional documented incidents with alcohol, albeit, several within legal limits, that is a HUGE red flag. Anyone who understands addiction, an alcoholic needs to stop altogether. You don’t go to rehab to be able to drink socially. You are always an alcoholic even when sober. You go to rehab to quit. Period. Anything short of that is a relapse and a recipe for destruction.

  24. Wait – so you think this “dumb, ignorant, alcoholic idiot” came up with that plan?

    It sounds to me like the Browns made this up to avoid having to answer 2 million questions about the ramifications of a grown man enjoying his day off with a drink or 6 after they told him “no. You can’t be going and doing adult things!”

    I’m just saying, it doesn’t really seem like a Johnny Manzeil thing to fake an injury to get out of punishment. I think that the punishment would probably be he same.

    Quit smearing the kid.

  25. Hey Browns draft the QB out of TCU and see where that goes.

    He is smaller than Johnny. If he tries to run as much as he does at tcu he wouldn’t last a season.

  26. Meanwhile, does anyone think the owner has learned anything from these escapades?

    Up – yes
    Down – no

  27. I don’t believe for a minute that Manziel faked an injury to avoid playing. Pettine had no intention of benching him, as he was backpedaling on the severity of a harmless video. He had already stated that this was an entirely different situation than the last. It’s a silly little theory based on nothing more than a second rate sportswriter’s imagination, and need to write something about Manziel with his name attached. After examining Manziel ,the medical professionals determined he should not play.
    They base these decisions on neurological tests, not the opinion of the athlete.

  28. He probably just has a hangover. Some concussion symptoms are headache, nausea, slurred speech, appearing to be dazed and being fatigued which are also symptoms of a hangover.

    With all the partying Johnny Beerball has done over the years I am sure he has come up with multiple excuses for his party lifestyle.

    Have him drink lots of water eat a couple of bananas for the potassium and take a nap and I’m sure his symptoms will disappear. Or a couple shots of his favorite beverage.

  29. Johnny s main problem is he went to the Browns!
    The only team in the league that would draft a kid in first round and make him a back up from day one.The Browns never gave the kid a chance.
    Don’t be surprised in a few years if they regret letting him go.
    BTW Bridgewater has not proved anything yet.

  30. Does anyone seriously believe this goof is an NFL caliber quarterback? The Browns have proven they are not good judges of talent!

  31. Johnny Wad in a Cowgirls uniform will be fantastic. The star is bigger then he is. But, you know it’s a LONG off season and I give him 0 chance of avoiding trouble before Spring training camp. ZERO chance.

  32. The media just loves this guy, it makes their job easy. Get off his back. The kid never broke a law, he hasn’t hurt anyone, has horrible play maker, a coach that does everything in his power to keep him out of game (see the game where McCown could barely stand after every 4th qtr play yet stayed in) and a disappointing line. The front office is completely dysfunctional, how can any team be a success under these conditions.

    His rehab must continue after these latest incidents as with recovering addicts many never recover after one trip to rehab.

    Out of all these comments only 4 or 5 are well thought out, most are haters pure and simple. Spend some time it Cleveland and experience the football climate, it sucks. Will Manziel be a good player down the road, we don’t know that, he hasn’t had enough opportunities. He’s made too many mistakes but has that “it” factor. I want to see it through and draft a QB first in the draft.

  33. Johnny is the Kim Kardashian of the NFL: famous for little talent beyond his embarrassing and promoting himself in front of a camera.

  34. Mike Pettine seems to be obsessed with “personal issues” that are really none of his business. Why is an NFL player not allowed to party? Never heard of it. In the old days, the SB winning Oakland Raiders would go out partying, miss the curfew and then they will go out and win the game. That is what counts. The reason they have a curfew is to make sure the players get rested and perform well during game time. If he wins the game, whey would Pettine care about Manziel partying? Manziel has 2 of the 3 wins the Browns have all season, and he is being crucified for partying? I feel sorry for the Browns fans. They bought tickets to see their team win, not to see their head coach become obsessed with off the field issues that have nothing to do with winning games.

  35. When this moron first started making national headlines I felt sorry for him, wondering why everyone kept calling him that humiliating, degrading, b-movie has-been cliche “Johnny Football” wtf?

    It didn’t take long to realize how he’d earned the embarrassing insult, and continues to live down to it with each moronic demonstration.

    It’s stunning and depressing that the creepy finger-rubbing on draft day was the apex, not rock bottom, of his class, intelligence and football career.

    Johnny Football, direct to video in a 5-for-$1 bin near you.

  36. Manziel is one of the best QBs in the league right now. Johnny Football’s a tremendous attraction, a great scrambler and has a great sense of tactics and inventiveness. If he improves his passing game he’ll be among the NFL elite. Trading him to a contender would be a blessing for him and whoever gets him. Either Houston or Dallas would be transformed into instant winners, and both could use the help. As for the partying, let’s not forget Broadway Joe Namath. Manziel has that attitude and the ability that can take the right team to a Super Bowl.

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