BEREA— Johnny Manziel has been stringing several good days of practice together, but that all stopped Tuesday.
Manziel was on the field for practice but didn’t throw the ball at all with his right arm. He tossed a few balls with his left arm, but didn’t take part in individual or team drills other than mimicking dropping back to pass.
“He’s having a little elbow soreness, so we just wanted to rest him for the day, still let him go through everything else,” Mike Pettine said after practice. ”Just the accumulation of reps, started to get a little sore. I mean we would do that with any of the guys but he was the one who was experiencing some stiffness.”
The next question was if Manziel would play in the preseason opener Thursday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“Yeah, we’re anticipating that,” Pettine said. “It was just today.”
Quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell was asked if he expected Manziel to play Thursday.
“I do,” O’Connell said. “He had some stiffness and soreness in his elbow. It just comes from the high volume of throws. He’s obviously worked very, very hard every day not only in camp, but prior to camp to be ready.
“Sometimes you got to, kind of help a guy out from when he’s working as hard as Johnny is to just take a day,” he said. “He had a heck of a day mentally, mental reps behind Josh (McCown) and Connor (Shaw) and Thad (Lewis), so it was a good day from that standpoint and we expect him to ready to roll.”
O’Connell, who was a backup quarterback with the Patriots and spent time with four other NFL teams before joining the Browns coaching staff this past off-season, knows from experience having a sore arm during training camp.
“Having been there before, and been that guy that tried to stay extra and throw to the younger receivers and all that stuff I’m constantly asking all four guys about how they’re feeling and throw counts and all that stuff,” O’Connell said. “I think it’s something to monitor and we try to do that and when there’s a situation where something turns into soreness or stiffness in any of their shoulders or arms or whatever it may be we’re going to do whatever we can to get them comfortable again.”
O’Connell doesn’t think having a sore elbow has any more significance than just a sore arm.
“No, I think it’s all depending on how a guy throws a football,” he said. “We’re all different, different level some guys get the shoulder soreness, some guys get elbow but really nothing to really make of that other than just high volume of throws in a short amount of time.”
O’Connell is impressed with Manziel’s progress.
“From day one in the building in the classroom, he’s been phenomenal,” O’Connell said. “He’s digesting what we’re doing and he’s doing everything we ask him and then some and really just starting to flourish in all things, adjustments, pressures, blitzes and all the things you need to be successful, he’s getting better and he’s a talented guy.”
Shaw took most of the reps along with Lewis with Manziel on the sideline in practice. O’Connell didn’t want to talk about the depth chart at quarterback.
“All four guys, I’m trying to get ready to play,” he said. “That’s my job.”
Thomas has Scheduled Rest Day: As we reported earlier, OL Joe Thomas was idle at practice but not wearing a brace or wrap on his knee. Pettine said the coaching staff hasn’t determined if Thomas will play Thursday, but if he doesn’t it will not be related to the injury he sustained.
“We’ll determine (if he’ll play),” Pettine said. “There’s a chance Joe plays a little bit and there’s a chance he doesn’t get a snap., but it would be unrelated (to the injury).”
For Openers: Pettine said it’s safe to say the starters will play “roughly a quarter”. He said the starters will play with the starters and the two’s with the two’s and so on.
Ruled Out: Pettine said the players that have not been practicing will not play in the preseason opener against the Redskins on Thursday.
“That holds true,” Pettine said.
Those that were out Tuesday were:
WR Dwayne Bowe (hamstring), DB Pierre Desir (hamstring), RB Shaun Draughn (hand), DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (knee), RB Duke Johnson Jr. (hamstring), Joe Madsen (concussion), RB Luke Lundy (concussion), OL Darrian Miller (knee), LB Barkevious Mingo (knee), DB Robert Nelson Jr. (hamstring), WR Terrelle Pryor (hamstring), DB De’Ante Saunders (calf), TE Randall Telfer (foot), DL Billy Winn (knee/ankle) and RB Glenn Winston (knee).
Pettine was asked if it will be a big setback for Pryor and Duke Johnson not playing.“You deal in reality,” he said. “Right now, he can’t be out there, He’s taking all the mental reps that he can, but that only gets you so far. It’s similar to Duke. We need to know in what we got in both of those guys.