Cleveland Browns Rumors: Quarterback Issues? Team Signs Veteran Austin Davis

The Cleveland Browns have been very busy the past couple of days.

The Browns, who are expected to rely heavily on their ground game this year, traded away their leading rusher Terrence West, as reported by the Inquisitr, on Sunday, and today they have signed former St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin Davis.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler first reported that the Browns had interest in Davis

According to Mary Kay Cabot of Northeast Ohio Media Group, the Browns signed Davis because of their concerns whether backup quarterback Johnny Manziel will be available on Sunday against the New York Jets as he is still suffering from tendonitis in his right elbow. If Manziel is unable to go, Davis would back up starter Josh McCown.

Manziel, who had not thrown any passes since August 23, was back on the football field during the Browns practice today, ESPN’s Pat McManamon reported.

“In the open portion of practice, the Browns ran half-speed drills,” McManamon wrote. “Manziel did not throw with a lot of zip — mainly soft tosses — but he did throw.”

Manziel struggled during his rookie season, completing just 18-of-35 passes for 175 yards and two interceptions. He looked a little better during the preseason but still has a way to go to be a legitimate NFL QB. Manziel completed 17 of his 29 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown this preseason.

Davis had been with the Rams since going undrafted out of Southern Miss in 2012. The 26-year-old started eight games for St. Louis last year, going 3-5 while throwing 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also threw for 2,001 yards and registered a rating of 85.1.

Davis, who only played in three series and threw five passes this preseason, became expendable after the Rams traded for Nick Foles and Case Keenum and drafted Sean Mannion in the third round this offseason.

Cleveland could have brought back Thad Lewis or Pat Devlin, both of whom were cut by the team on Saturday, instead of opting for Davis. Lewis completed 20-of-29 passes for 181 yards but was picked off twice this preseason while Devlin completed both of his pass attempts.

To make room for Davis, Cleveland used its injured reserve slot with the designation to return on rookie cornerback Charles Gaines, meaning the sixth round choice is ineligible to play until week nine of the season.

Gaines had a strong preseason before straining his hamstring in Week 3. Gaines recorded five tackles and had the Browns lone interception.

Cleveland also filled their 10-man practice squad today with the signing of OL Garth Gerhart and DL Dylan Wynn. Those two join RB Shaun Draughn, DB Kendall James, WR Darius Jennings, OL Erle Ladson, OL Andrew McDonald, OL Darrian Miller, LB Hayes Pullard, and DB De’Ante Saunders.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]