CLEVELAND-- Though Johnny Manziel has been the subject of much media attention this week, it doesn't appear as though he's guy who will start behind center for the Browns on Sunday.
The man set to start at quarterback, according to Browns head coach Mike Pettine, will be Josh McCown, if he clears the league's NFL concussion protocol and practices on Friday.
"We've discussed it. I think it still will be our decision based on how practice goes," Pettine said. "I don't see an issue, if he's cleared and he practices fully tomorrow, I don't see, barring anything unforeseen, a reason why we wouldn't play him."
McCown has been at practice throughout the week and has been in meetings with the team, giving Pettine no pause in starting the quarterback on Sunday.
"When you over-install for the opener and you're playing similar defensive styles week one to week two, so there were a lot of plays that wer eup for this plan that he's already gotten a lot of reps on," Pettine said of the veteran. "If this was a completely different plan and it wasn't this close coming out of Training Camp, I think the situation would be different. But he's gotten quality reps on a lot of the elements of the plan that we have up."
In addition, Pettine was encouraged by the way that McCown handled the one drive that he was on the field for.
"I think it's difficult for the offenses to come right out and piece together an opening drive," Pettine said. "To go out there and 18 or 19 plays and convert the third downs the way that we did... Sure, it was encouraging, but it's not how you start, it's how you finish."
In addition to his firm thoughts regarding McCown's starting status if he were cleared, Pettine too seemed to understand the NFL's concussion protocol and how it would work in regards to his quarterback.
"He has to be cleared to practice, so he would already be cleared (for Sunday's game)," Pettine said. "There's nobody that would evaluate him after practice Friday. The final step of the protocol would potentially be (Friday) morning."
When Pettine was asked if McCown would be cleared, however, he was much less sure.
"There's no PHD after my name," Pettine said. "To me, these situations, you learn over time, are impossible to predict."
Follow Hayden Grove on Twitter for all of your Cleveland Browns news and notes from Berea: @H_Grove.