With Josh McCown done for the season with a broken collarbone, the Cleveland Browns will start Austin Davis at quarterback over Johnny Manziel this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Mike Pettine made the announcement to reporters today.
“Austin took advantage of his opportunity on Monday night. He was prepared, played well and put us in position to win,” Pettine said. “He’s been great in the quarterback room all season and he has earned the right to start on Sunday. We expect him to play well.”
Davis entered Monday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens in relief of McCown and completed 7 of 10 passes for 77 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin that knotted the game at 24. Cleveland would go on to lose when Ravens safety Will Hill blocked a field goal attempt and ran it back for a touchdown as time expired.
Moreover, the fact that Davis drew the start over Manziel is incredibly telling to just how much trust has been lost between the former first-round pick and the coaching staff. Shortly after being named the Browns’ starter for the rest of the season, Manziel was caught on tape in Austin during the team’s bye week, drinking heavily at a local night club. He was benched shortly thereafter and it was later learned that he had lied to the team about when the video was shot.
Long story short, this should be yet another message to Manziel about how he needs to get himself together if he wants to enjoy a successful NFL career, especially since Davis was the third-stringer for most of the season.
Kickoff at FirstEnergy Stadium is slated for 1 p.m. ET on Fox.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports