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Johnny Manziel Ruled out After Suffering Head Injury on Tackle vs. Apollos

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2019

Memphis Express quarterback Johnny Manziel is seen on the sideline during a Birmingham Iron at Memphis Express AAF football game, Sunday, March 24, 2019, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Johnny Manziel's first AAF start is over after one series.

Manziel left Saturday's game against the Orlando Apollos after suffering a head injury. The former Heisman winner was 2-of-3 passing for 13 yards and an interception while adding 18 yards rushing. He was injured while attempting to make a tackle after throwing a red-zone pick on a tipped pass.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Manziel is done for the game after taking a blow from his own teammate (via @TheAAF) https://t.co/CYy8Vvzl7C

Signed by the Memphis Express on March 16, Manziel was slotted in as the team's third starting quarterback of the AAF's inaugural season. Christian Hackenberg began the season as the starter before giving way to Zach Mettenberger, who is currently injured.

Manziel was released by the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL in February. After his release, the CFL banned him because Manziel because of an unconfirmed violation of his contract.

"We advised Montreal that Johnny had violated one of the conditions we had set for him to be in our league. And Montreal announced his release today," CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said at the time. "We didn't release the terms of those conditions then and we're not going to do that now."

Manziel told Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today in July that the league required him to meet with doctors and a therapist and undergo drug testing because of his previous off-field issues. In 2016, he reached a plea deal after allegedly hitting ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley. The NFL also suspended him four games for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy.

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Both the organization and teammates have been highly complimentary of Manziel since his signing.

"Just the caliber he brings with him, a great charisma about him," Express wide receiver Reece Horn told NFL.com's Herbie Teope. "The fans obviously love him and his name is a big brand, and that's the biggest thing I've learned.

"But once you get in meetings with him, running routes for him, catching the football for him, he's a great athlete, he's very competitive—something that I'm also very competitive, so it's the same fire in each of us. He doesn't say too much, but he does say things that need to be said and helps correct some guys, just giving his two cents from his experience in his football career. It's a blessing to play with him and he's a great teammate."

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