Johnny Manziel’s healthy again, doesn’t understand why he isn’t playing


For reasons football and otherwise, Johnny Manziel has given professional football coaches very little reason to have faith in him.

And now that he’s recovered from a recent concussion, the former Browns first-rounder wondered aloud whether the Montreal Alouettes have become the latest on that list.

Manziel has been healthy and available the last two weeks, after being cleared from his Aug. 11 concussion.

If the club had faith in me, I feel like I would be the guy, I feel like I would’ve been the guy after I came back from the concussion,” Manziel said, via the Associated Press. “That hasn’t happened, so I need to continue to get out here. And it’s the hardest part about missing practice, I need these reps to try to leave as little doubt as possible in my ability to play.”

He has also missed practice time this week with a flu bug, but said he’d be ready for tonight’s game against the B.C. Lions. Coach Mike Sherman said it was “too soon” to know his status for the game.

But Manziel clearly has questions about his future. The Alouettes traded for him with plans of him starting, but he’s behind Antonio Pipkin and Matthew Shiltz on the depth chart now.

“I hope this organization, I hope the people here haven’t lost faith in my ability to play, and I still get a chance to come back and get a chance to be in with the [starters] and play, because that’s what I came up here to do and that’s what I want to do,” Manziel said. “That’s where maybe it’s a little bit lost on me, because I felt like I was brought in here to be a piece, had a lot of faith in me the first couple of weeks I was here . . . since I missed the games because of the concussion and then not getting to play once I was back has been frustrating for sure, because I felt like there was a lot of hope, and a lot of faith in me being the guy here.

“How quickly that’s changed in two weeks is tough.”

Of course, Pipkin has won his last two starts, and football coaches are traditionally averse to change. Manziel started two games for Montreal, losing both  while going 27-of-46 for 272 yards, with no touchdowns and four interceptions. Those numbers might be justification enough.