Already at 2-9 and in last place in the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns’ season continues to go awry. Earlier this week on Monday Night Football, the Browns sustained a walk-off loss to the Baltimore Ravens on a blocked field goal. Then the news broke that veteran starter Josh McCown would miss the rest of the season with a broken collar bone. This left head coach Mike Pettine with a choice between two unproven quarterbacks: the undrafted Austin Davis and the first-round pick and all-round attention magnet Johnny Manziel.
Pettine has chosen to go with Davis when the Browns host the 9-2 Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday. Davis went undrafted out of Southern Miss in 2012, and didn’t play in a regular season game until last season, when he started eight games for the St. Louis Rams after beginning the season as the team’s third-string option. Although Davis compiled a respectable 3-5 record, earning accolades from no less than Brett Favre, he was benched in favor of veteran back-up Shaun Hill. For the second straight season, Davis is seeing significant playing time after beginning the year as a third-string, completing seven of ten passes against the Ravens, with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Being passed over in favor of Davis shows just how dramatically Manziel’s value has plummeted since being selected 22nd overall in the 2014 Draft. So far, Manziel is 1-4 in his career as a starter, with significant questions about his personal focus on football constantly arising.