BEREA—The Browns brought in Austin Davis an an insurance policy to make sure they have a backup if Johnny Manziel isn’t ready to go on Sunday.
However, Manziel said he is on track to be the backup to Josh McCown on Sunday for the season opener against the New York Jets. He was asked if it was important that he’s ready to play this week.
“Very,” Manziel said after practice Monday. “I think (the Jets are) a very good defense. You never know what could happen. This league has seen crazier things happen. One guy can go out, there has been two or whatever so you have to be ready at any time.”
Manziel said he feels his elbow is well rested.
“I figured I had 10 days off and it is getting to the point where it has almost been two weeks now so I feel like that has been plenty of time from what I have known in the past to be okay,” he said. “I think I still am on a good path. I think I am on a good path mentally in the classroom and where I need to be in the playbook and everything.
“Obviously, missing out on a couple reps there, but other than that, I don’t think it slowed me too much.”
Manziel said he has no doubts that his elbow is not going to be a problem, despite the signing of Davis.
“No, not in my mind,” Manziel said. “I don’t think in anybody else’s either.”
Manziel said he came through his first practice back in good shape.
“I feel fine today,” he said. “Go finish up icing and get treatment the rest of the day just like any other day, really.”
Manziel said he wasn’t throwing with his normal velocity in his first practice back for a reason.
“Yeah, I don’t think that is what it was today,” he said. “It is a Monday. It is kind of an extra practice for us so no reason to be out there really slinging it around, just kind of a little bit unnecessary, but good to get back in the motion and get a ball in my hand and throw it around a little bit.”
Manziel said he is easing his way back into throwing the football.
“There is no reason to be out there ripping them around when I am trying to build back up into it,” he said. “I haven’t been throwing for 10 days or something so I eased back into things. We are where we need to be.
“Just give it some time and keep continuing to rehab and continuing to stay on this pitch count for a couple days and then be ready to go by the time I am needed to be.”