Quarterback Johnny Manziel missed the Browns’ final game of the season after the team reported that he was in the concussion protocol. NFL reporter Mike Silver emphatically claimed today that Manziel was actually in the protocol because he showed up drunk to practice on Dec. 30—and that the Browns lied to protect him.

The video of Silver’s report is here; the transcript is below.

I was with a Browns player yesterday. Johnny Manziel, going into what would have been a start late in the season showed up drunk at practice on a Wednesday. The Browns lied and said he was in the concussion protocol. Let me repeat that. The Browns lied to try to protect, and I would argue enable, this irresponsible and very troubled young man.

The initial concussion diagnosis came days after a video surfaced of Manziel holding a Four Loko and listening to Future in what appeared to be a finished basement; the Monday after the game, Manziel didn’t show up to his doctor visit. The Browns denied a coverup to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot today, however:

Silver stands by part of his report. He is not walking back his claim that Manziel showed up drunk to practice. He is, though, allowing that Manziel actually was placed in the concussion protocol (contrary to his previous reporting), and that he has no direct knowledge of what Manziel told doctors. He also expresses “regret” over his claim—which he originally repeated for emphasis—that the Browns lied about Manziel having a concussion:

Meanwhile, ESPN reported today that Manziel actually showed up to practice hungover, and because he complained of headaches, the team put him in the concussion protocol.

Photo: AP

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