If Mike Pettine truly meant it last week when he said Johnny Manziel’s demotion was not a “dead end”, now is the time to show it.
Pettine needs to put Manziel back in the starting lineup.
With veteran Josh McCown’s season over with a broken collarbone, Pettine’s choice is between Manziel and Austin Davis, and for the sake of the Browns’ immediate and long-term plans, this shouldn’t be much of a choice.
For once, this has to be a football decision regarding Manziel.
That hasn’t always been the case, and certainly wasn’t last week, when Pettine demoted Manziel from starter to third-string after he reportedly lied to the coaching staff about his bye-week antics.
But now Pettine’s job security might come down to winning games over the final month of the season – so does he want to go into a daunting final five weeks (four of the Browns’ last five opponents currently have winning records) with Manziel or Davis?
Pettine might not be able to trust Manziel off the field, but he needs…