And I thought for sure we'd get to the end of the regular season before another controversy with Johnny Manziel came to light. According to a report by The USA Today, the Cleveland Browns quarterback, who is out for Week 17 with a concussion, was spotted at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood casino on Saturday.
Included in the report at the following tidbits: a waitress served a meal to Manziel and his guests, and Manziel sat down to play at a blackjack table. That is not embarrassing in the least; in fact, the Browns might have a policy that players who are ruled out due to injury are not required to attend the game the following day.
If true, this would be the second year in a row where something like this has happened to conclude the season. In 2014, Manziel suffered a hamstring injury in Week 16 that landed him on injured reserve for the finale. Manziel was fined for being "late to treatment" on the Saturday before the game, and Manziel attributed it to him having "been out late with friends" that Friday.
What makes things worse about this season's event, though, is the illusion of another cover-up. Manziel posted the following to his Instagram account Saturday night -- with a Geotag location of Avon, Ohio -- and it's being speculated that he was trying to cover up the fact that he was in Vegas.
With the Browns' coaching and front office situation in disarray, who knows what will happen with Manziel this offseason. If the current regime stays, will they have had enough with him, or will they think of him as their best chance to win? If another regime comes in, will they want absolutely nothing to do with Manziel and ship him out right away (or even outright release him)?
According to Tom Withers of The Associated Press, the Browns are not commenting on the latest situation with Manziel. I wouldn't read too much of him not being on the sidelines today, because when have you seen CB Joe Haden or WR Andrew Hawkins when they've been in the concussion protocol?
It's not 100% confirmed that Manziel was in Vegas, since no one is commenting on the situation. As Deadspin points out, if all the employees at the casino knew they were seeing Manziel, in this day of social media, how is it possible that no photos of videos have surfaced? Also, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer pointed out that Manziel was still in Cleveland Saturday morning:
I'm told Manziel, who has a concussion, was at #Browns facility Saturday morning. USA Today Sports reports he was in Vegas Sat. nite— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 3, 2016
Manziel might have been getting treatment Saturday morning, just like he was getting treatment for his hamstring the Saturday morning leading up to the finale last year.