Give the Browns this: for a team mired in a perpetual quarterback controversy, they manage never to have the same one twice. With Josh McCown reportedly out for the year, the newest debate is between Austin Davis, who wasn’t even with the team in training camp, and (once again) Johnny Manziel, who Mike Pettine appears to hate with every fiber of his being.
According to Cleveland.com, McCown is believed to have suffered a broken collarbone in last night’s incredibly Brownsy 33-27 loss to the Ravens. He was tackled hard by Timmy Jernigan with 2:12 left in the third quarter and sprinted off the field in pain.
That’s around when the crowd started chanting Johnny! Johnny! Though Manziel was active, unusual for a third quarterback, it fell to new No. 2 Austin Davis after McCrown tried and failed to gut out another series. Davis led a game-tying touchdown drive.
There really is almost no point in ever naming a starting QB for this team, because some calamity or controversy is bound to befall them. McCown’s always getting hurt (his lingering rib injury was why the Browns dressed three quarterbacks), and no wonder: his line can’t protect him, and his running game is useless. In roughly three quarters of action last night, McCown was hit nine times and sacked once. Then there’s Manziel, who finally, finally had the starting job handed to him, until he got filmed partying on his off-week, then lied to the Browns and told them the video was old. (He also told his friend to lie if asked.)
So what now? If McCown is indeed done for the year, do the Browns go with Davis, who looked quite good in limited relief? Or do they go with Manziel, who they’ve invested more in and who hasn’t yet had a prolonged opportunity to show if he’s capable of leading a team—but who manages to keep shooting himself in the foot each time he does get a chance? Pettine isn’t saying.
“We’ll watch the tape and discuss that,” said Pettine. “I’m not prepared to answer that just yet.”
In the end, does it even really matter? A Browns quarterback has the job security of a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.