Johnny Manziel’s elbow soreness will likely keep him out of the Cleveland Browns’ preseason game this weekend, Browns head coach Mike Pettine told the media Wednesday.
Although an MRI showed there was no structural damage, Manziel’s elbow has bothered him at least since high school because of his unorthodox throwing motion.
“Sometimes when a guy drops that elbow and has that three-quarter release it’s going to put a little bit more pressure on the elbow than on the shoulder,” Pettine said. “This is something he’s been dealing with since high school.”
Pettine was quick to downplay the severity of the injury, adding that if it were the regular season it would be “more than likely” that Manziel could play.
He also insisted that he and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo had no plans to change his throwing motion at this point in his career.
“I think that’s an advantage that he has. There are times he’ll change his arm angle to make a throw. If you stick with your traditional throwing motion, the ball’s either going to get knocked down, (or) you’ve got a guy in your way, you’ve got an outstretched arm, you want to go ahead and drop the ball down a little bit and make a throw.”
Still, that Manziel’s soreness is the direct result of a problem with his fundamentals does not bode well for Johnny Football’s future. Former Browns quarterback Tim Couch, who battled elbow tendinitis over the course of his career, expressed his worry to Cleveland.com.
“When a quarterback takes some time off initially and feels good and then it flares up again, I think that’s cause for a little bit of concern,” he said.
With Manziel sidelined, the Browns added journeyman quarterback Pat Devlin to their roster. Connor Shaw, the third-string quarterback in Cleveland, is likely to miss the season with a thumb injury. After a tumultuous rookie season, Manziel is starting off Year Two on the wrong note.
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