Cleveland Browns considering quarterback switch

Johnny Manziel
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel warms up before Sunday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
(Jason Miller / Getty Images)

The switch at starting quarterback appears inevitable this week.

It may be time for the Cleveland Browns to turn the offense over to Johnny Manziel.

After starter Brian Hoyer played poorly again in Sunday’s loss to Indianapolis, Browns Coach Mike Pettine said Monday that he hasn’t decided to make a change but “it would be natural to be leaning the other way.” That would mean going with Manziel, who came off the bench two weeks ago in the fourth quarter at Buffalo and led the Browns to a touchdown.

Pettine was unclear on whether he had already decided to make the change. He said he wants to talk with his coaching staff and both quarterbacks before announcing who will start on Sunday against Cincinnati.


Pettine said the offensive problems in Sunday’s game were deeper than the quarterback, but he called the passing attack “sub-standard.” Pettine cited dropped passes, receivers running wrong routes and execution as factors but that Hoyer has to play better.

“We’re in a results business,” he said. “We’ve lost two in a row. We know what the numbers were in the pass game, and for us to be successful, we have to improve.”

Pettine said Manziel would “absolutely” be ready if called upon to make his first start.

Police investigating Titans’ Hill


The Tennessee Titans say they are aware police are investigating a sexual assault allegation involving defensive lineman Sammie Hill.

“We will let the police investigate the allegation, and we will provide any assistance they need,” the Titans said in a statement. “We have discussed the matter with Sammie, and we will continue to gather facts.”

Atlanta Police Department spokesman John Chaffee wrote in an email that a woman told police she had been sexually assaulted by Hill and they are working with the woman for more information.

The woman apparently contacted Houston police first. Spokesman Victor Senties confirmed to the Associated Press that Houston police took a report Friday from a woman alleging she had been sexually assaulted in Atlanta and forwarded that to Atlanta police.

Hill, who played at Stillman and is a native from West Blocton, Alabama, is a six-year veteran in the second year of a three-year deal with Tennessee. The 6-foot-4, 328-pound Hill has started 12 games this season for Tennessee.


Chicago Bears star receiver Brandon Marshall was placed on injured reserve because of rib and lung injuries and will sit out the rest of the season. … Robert Griffin III could be starting again — even if Colt McCoy is healthy. Washington Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said he’s waiting to hear from a specialist for the latest on McCoy’s sprained neck. …The Arizona Cardinals placed running back Andre Ellington on injured reserve and signed safety Chris Clemons. The team already had declared Ellington out for the season. He is to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair what Coach Bruce Arians described as a hernia in his hip area. … The Buffalo Bills have taken the first step in a bid to part ways with receiver Mike Williams by placing him on the waived-injured list. … Colts Coach Chuck Pagano has an explanation for Reggie Wayne’s declining numbers: A torn triceps. Pagano told reporters that Wayne injured his left arm during a victory over Cincinnati on Oct. 19. … Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger is doubtful against the New York Jets after aggravating his sprained right shoulder, but Coach Ken Whisenhunt says there is a “legitimate chance” Mettenberger plays for Tennessee again this season. … The San Diego Chargers are in the market for a punter after Mike Scifres broke his left clavicle in a 23-14 loss to New England.

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