The intrigue at quarterback continues for the Cleveland Browns.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel will likely sit out Saturday's preseason game against the Buccaneers, due to the results of an MRI on the 22 year old's right elbow.
Browns head coach Mike Pettine said today the MRI revealed "no structural damage," but it will still likely force Manziel to sit out on Saturday.
The first sign of elbow soreness was August 11, but Manziel still played in the first two preseason games. The soreness returned at the end of practice on Sunday, which has prevented Manziel from throwing with his right arm since.
Pettine called Manziel's injury a "minor setback," revealing that the elbow soreness is "something he’s been dealing with since high school." The second-year coach did not show much concern about the issue, saying, "If this was something he’d never experienced before and the MRI showed something, I’d be a lot more concerned. But this being something he’s dealt with before, I’m confident if he’s shut down for just a little bit longer, that it’ll all come back."
Pettine later added that Manziel might even play if the Browns were playing a regular season game on Saturday. "I don’t [get concerned] because he’s managed it. I just think he went a little bit too far with it," Pettine said. "Could he play if it he had to? More than likely, but why do that in the preseason. If this was the regular season, it might be a different story. We just want to be cautious and not have it develop into something that can continue to bother him throughout the year."
The club's lack of concern about Manziel seems a little dangerous, considering the team's third-stringer is Thaddeus Lewis, due to the season-ending injury to Connor Shaw. Also, as ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi and Jason Gibbs report, Manziel has thrown 50 percent fewer passes this training camp as opposed to last year, when Manziel was engaged in a fierce fight for the starting quarterback job.
Even considering Manziel's past elbow problems, likely due to his three-quarters release, Pettine said, "It’s something where if it’s managed properly managed from a training standpoint, from a strength and conditioning standpoint, he’s aware of it and the coaches are aware of it, as long as there’s nothing structural, we don’t see it as anything that is going to be long term."
Manziel's absence will probably force the Browns to sign a backup quarterback. Pettine swiftly shot down the idea of Terrelle Pryor returning to the quarterback position as the third stringer.
According to Spotrac, former Browns quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Tyler Thigpen are available, as are veterans such as Josh Johnson and Chandler Harnish.