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.
Silver also said multiple sources indicated Manziel showed up late to the Browns' facility for a meeting and was "noticeably drunk on Wednesday, Dec. 30." Silver reported he was "placed in the concussion protocol and sent home" thereafter.
The Browns denied the report of a cover-up, however, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal:
Nate Ulrich @NateUlrichABJ
On report #Browns lied about Manziel's concussion, team spokesman said player was in protocol well after Jan. 3 finale, was cleared Jan. 12.2016-2-9 17:45:11
Silver said he "[stands by his] original report that Manziel showed up drunk at practice and that witnesses believed this was the cause of his 'behavior'" but indicated he regrets using the term "lied."
This report is the latest in a long line of incidents regarding the young quarterback. He's currently being investigated for alleged domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, who alleged that he hit her so hard she ruptured her left eardrum, according to Dallas-Fort Worth's NBC5 (via Pat McManamon of ESPN.com).
Manziel denied the assault occurred, per TMZ (via McManamon).
His father, Paul Manziel, alleged this week that his son declined being admitted to rehab facilities in the past week, according to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News.
"I truly believe if they can't get him help, he won't live to see his 24th birthday," Paul Manziel said.
Manziel, 23, has been involved in controversy after controversy over the past year. He checked himself into rehab last offseason but was seen during the season drinking champagne at a club. He was ultimately benched for that incident and lying about it, shortly after he had been named the team's starting quarterback.
He was also investigated for a potential domestic incident in October, though no charges were filed against him, and neither the NFL nor the Browns took disciplinary action.
Manziel has appeared in 14 games in two seasons with the Browns after being the No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 draft, throwing for 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He's also rushed for 259 yards and a score.
He's expected to be cut by the Browns once the new league year commences, per McManamon, and the team seems likely to use the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft to select a quarterback.