CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — Johnny Manziel reportedly showed up to a practice drunk last season and the Cleveland Browns tried to cover up the incident by saying the quarterback had a concussion.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Silver, Manziel reported to practice on Dec. 30 inebriated, days before the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I was with a Browns player yesterday,” Silver said. “Johnny Manziel, going in to 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 story matches a similar report last month by ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, who said he had heard Manziel showed up to the practice facility “disheveled and inebriated” and was sent home, although that report did not mention the alleged cover-up.
The Browns denied Grossi’s report at the time. They also said Manziel, who spent 10 weeks in a drug and alcohol treatment center last year, had been entered into the concussion protocol but that he missed a scheduled medical appointment the morning of the Steelers game. One day earlier, he was reportedly seen dining and gambling in Las Vegas.
Manziel, 23, is currently under investigation in a domestic violence case in Texas after he allegedly threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and himself.
Colleen Crowley said in an affidavit the quarterback hit her so hard during a late-night confrontation that she lost hearing in one ear.
Her affidavit, published online Monday, says Manziel dragged her into a car last month after she tried to get away from him. Crowley accused Manziel of striking her in her left ear.
She detailed the alleged attack as part of proceedings to obtain a protective order against Manziel.
Last week, the Browns issued a strong statement condemning Manziel’s alleged actions and pointing to his release in March, a move that has seemed inevitable for months.
“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field,” said Sashi Brown, the team’s vice president of football operations. “Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules.”