Not only is Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel being investigated by authorities and the NFL, news writers are also digging up unflattering dirt about the troubled football player. According to an article published on NFL.com, Johnny Manziel allegedly showed up at a December practice drunk. Making matters worse, the Cleveland Browns were accused of covering up Manziel’s misconduct.
This latest addition to a long list of scandals for Johnny began with a report by NFL Media columnist Michael Silver. On Tuesday, Silver claimed he’d heard from multiple sources that Johnny Manziel showed up to the Brown’s facility “late and noticeably drunk” on the Wednesday prior to the team’s Week 17 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. USA Today mentioned that Michael’s most direct source was an unnamed Browns player.
If true, the reports on the NFL website would prove particularly damning — not just for Manziel, but for the Browns. The team made no mention of Manziel being drunk or late when explaining his absence from the Browns’ final game of the season.
Uproxx wrote that Manziel was “ruled out” against the Steelers because he arrived at practice complaining of concussion symptoms. If Silver’s report was accurate, it meant that Cleveland knowingly covered up for Johnny Manziel’s bad behavior and lied to the NFL and public about it.
Johnny Manziel is in the midst of what can only be described as a severe downward spiral. It’s no secret he’s on the outs with ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley. Crowley claims that Manziel not only hit her so hard as to make her partially deaf, he’d threatened to kill both her and himself. The Dallas Police Department is currently investigating Johnny following the alleged domestic violence incident.
Professionally, things are hardly better. It’s an open secret that the Cleveland Browns are preparing to unload the disappointing backup quarterback as soon as possible. Everyone is looking to March for the official word to come. The only thing left to speculate about is Johnny Manziel’s fate once he’s let go by Cleveland.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 9, 2016
If the report written by Michael Silver is true, the only place Manziel should be going is back to rehab.
The Browns have since denied the team covered up for Johnny Manziel. Cleveland has instead maintained Manziel was not drunk and that it really was concussion concerns that kept him from finishing out the season.
“[Manziel] was tested by an independent neurologist and entered the league’s concussion protocol. He remained in the protocol until January 12th after being cleared by the independent neurologist.”
For his part, Silver regrets outright accusing the Cleveland Browns of deception.
As Michael explained via Twitter, “If the Browns say they did not lie about Manziel’s diagnosis, I will take them at their word.”
This retraction comes despite supposedly getting this report from an individual within the Browns franchise itself. Has everything, from the alleged coverup to subsequent denials, merely been about saving face?
Should that be the case, Uproxx writer Matthew Rothstein had some particularly harsh words for the Cleveland football franchise.
“The Browns apparently were more concerned with either Manziel’s image or their own than getting him the help he needed for his alcoholism. He had been in rehab that very offseason and, if he indeed showed up intoxicated at work, then the medically sound decision would have been to get him treatment immediately.
“You could argue that the Browns were doing this at Manziel’s request or for his reputation if you wanted to be charitable, but it still wouldn’t mean the Browns had his best interest at heart.”
What do you think of rumors that Johnny Manziel showed up to practice drunk? Do you believe the Browns are lying about covering for him? Please share your thoughts below!
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