BEREA— Johnny Manziel was a bystander on Wednesday and there’s a good chance that Manziel will not play on Saturday in the third preseason game at Tampa Bay.
Mike Pettine was asked if he thought Manziel would sit out the ‘dress rehearsal’ game.
“It’s looking that way,” Pettine said.
Pettine said he thinks Manziel just needs a little more rest for the arm and the he and Ray Farmer are going to talk about possibly bringing in another quarterback to give the team another arm in practice with Connor Shaw out. If Manziel cannot play Saturday, Josh McCown and Thaddeus Lewis will likely be the only two quarterbacks playing.
“It’s another opportunity,” Lewis said. “I’m just hoping for the opportunity to put points on the board. It’s definitely an opportunity. You never know when you’ll get (the opportunity). When you do, you want to take advantage of it.”
Pettine said Manziel’s arm didn’t respond the way the trainers were hoping on the day off.
“He’s still experiencing a little bit of soreness it hasn’t bounced all the way back,” Pettine said. “He didn’t throw today so we’re going to err on the side of caution and make a decision with the doctors and trainers to see what the best course of action is at this point. Do we just shut him down for the week?
“We’ll make that decision later today, whether to add an extra arm, but those are (decisions) we have to talk about.”
Pettine did say that Manziel had an MRI, but the tests showed no structural damage. He disclosed that Manziel has dealt with the soreness in his elbow since high school.
“We didn’t think it was anything structural,” Pettine said. “This is something he’s been dealing with since high school. We just wanted to confirm that there was nothing structural and that was the case, so the MRI was certainly a positive result.”
Pettine said he would rather have Manziel miss a preseason game than have the injury linger.
“It hasn’t come back and it hasn’t come back as quickly as we had hoped,” Pettine said. “We don’t want to rush him back for a preseason game. (We want) to be cautious with it and we’ll go through all those options.
Pettine said he’s not worried about it being a long-term injury.
“We’re going to be cautious, and not allow it to develop into something that can bother him throughout the year” Pettine said. “We’re not overly alarmed about it. We just want to handle it smartly.”
Pettine called it “a minor setback.”
Manziel rested his arm on Aug. 11 after complaining of a sore elbow. He only missed one day of practice, but then appeared to injure it again during Sunday’s practice as he winced after throwing the ball deep down field to Josh Lenz. The training staff held him out of practice on Monday and felt with the off day on Tuesday that Manziel would be good to go on Wednesday.
Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was heard Wednesday by several reporters early in drills to take it easy on the quarterbacks since “we’re down to two (quarterbacks) today.”
DeFilippo said it’s been his experience that after training camp ends and teams get into the normal practice routine, that the arm/elbow soreness for quarterbacks tends to go away.
“Once training camp is over and the volume of throws goes down usually that has a way of clearing up itself, it really doesn’t,” DeFilippo said. “I’ve been around guys before with elbow and shoulder issues that once they get out of camp and break camp after that first week. Your throw count goes down, there’s not as many receivers, you don’t get as many reps in the (individuals), your periods are cut shorter. You have a way of that calming down a little bit in the elbow and the shoulder.”
Back at it: Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor returned to practice along with cornerback Joe Haden (hamstring) and safety Tashaun Gipson (calf). Barring a setback that means those three should be able to play in the third preseason game Saturday night in Tampa Bay.
Pettine said that if players didn’t return Wednesday or at the later Thursday, they wouldn’t play in Saturday’s game.
“If the guys haven’t (practiced) by Thursday then they are not going to go,” Pettine said on Monday. “Primarily the guys that haven’t been out there for a while you want to see them go Wednesday or it will be much less likely that they will go.”
After missing nearly two weeks of practice with the hamstring injury suffered on Aug. 4, Pryor came back for the first practice in Rochester with the Bills on Aug. 17. He felt tightness and has been held out since. He has yet to play in a preseason game.
Pettine said Pryor was on a pitch count for Wednesday’s practice.
“We had him on a count so he got through the number and shut him down,” he said. “It was good to have him go out and execute as receiver.”
Pettine said he’s hopeful Pryor will be able to play Saturday.
“Hopeful’s a good word,” he said. “We’ll see how he responded to the work today and not have any issues with it. Hopefully, get him through (Thursday) and should be good to go.”
In making the transition from quarterback to receiver, it is imperative that Pryor gets back on the field.
“As I’ve said before, he’s not guaranteed a spot and he’s got to play,” Pettine said recently. “That window narrows every day he’s not out there.”
DeFilippo said that Pryor has to get back on the field to have a chance to make the team.
“Absolutely. There’s got to be a sense of urgency from Terrelle and I’ll be the first person to say that.”
On the other side, DB Justin Gilbert (hip flexor), DB K'Waun Williams (abdomen), DL Ishmaa'ily Kitchen (groin), OL Michael Bowie (shoulder), DB Robert Nelson (hamstring) and OL Karim Barton were on the stationary bikes. DB Jordan Poyer (concussion) and FB Luke Lundy (concussion) were not on the field as were LB Barkevious Mingo (knee), RB Glenn Winston (knee), DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (knee) and TE Randall Telfer (foot). FB Malcolm Johnson practiced without the red non-contact jersey.