ST. LOUIS — Johnny Manziel might start at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in next Sunday’s game against Arizona. He also has an interview scheduled as part of the NFL’s investigation into an incident he was involved in Oct. 12 in Avon, Ohio.
The life of Johnny rolls on.
Though the exact date and location of the interview are not known, a source familiar with the situation said Manziel is scheduled to talk to the league two weeks or more after he was questioned by Avon police following a domestic argument with his girlfriend in his car.
Manziel did not acknowledge that an interview was scheduled but said he would cooperate if asked.
“If anybody reaches out to me, if the NFL does reach out to me, I’ll fully cooperate with anything that they ask me,” he said after the Browns’ 24-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams. “Anything they need from me, I’m not shying away from that. I cooperated fully with Avon. I cooperated fully with everybody in the Browns and anybody that’s asked me anything.
“It’s an ongoing situation, and I don’t really want to speak on it much more than that. If the situation does arise, I’ll fully cooperate. That’s really it.”
Manziel went 4-of-5 for 27 yards and had one carry for 5 yards. His appearance Sunday marked his first game action since he started in a victory over Tennessee in the second game of the season.
Manziel could start next week because Josh McCown left the loss to the Rams with 5 minutes, 17 seconds left with a right shoulder injury. McCown took a serious beating from the Rams’ defensive front throughout the game. He was sacked four times and pressured on 44 percent of his dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Four plays before McCown hurt his shoulder, he was hit in the chest, and a helmet came up and hit him in the jaw. He was down on the turf for a few minutes, his head down, but was not checked for a concussion during the game.
The Browns checked McCown for a concussion after the game, and he passed the tests.
“Obviously, you don’t feel great after something like that happens, but I was all right,” he said.
McCown finished 26-of-32 for 270 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Neither McCown nor coach Mike Pettine would address McCown’s status for the next game.
“Anytime your quarterback is being evaluated for an injury, you are always concerned,” Pettine said. “Whatever the circumstances are, we will deal with them appropriately.”
If McCown is out, Pettine said Manziel would make his first start since the Week 2 win over Tennessee.
“If those are the circumstances we will deal with them,” Pettine said.
Manziel will prepare to start while the NFL continues its investigation. Witnesses called 911 about Manziel driving at a high rate of speed on the shoulder and crossing several lanes of interstate to exit while arguing with his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. Crowley told police that Manziel hit her and pushed her head into the window of the car.
Manziel also admitted to drinking before driving, but police saw no signs of inebriation and did not test him.
No charges were filed. Manziel and Crowley were permitted to leave together.
The league is looking into what happened as part of its personal conduct policy, which mandates investigations into any potential violations. Manziel’s interview would be a key part of that process.
“I hope people haven’t given up on me,” Manziel said. “I know I’m trying to do the right things on the field. Just trying to keep my head down and just keep plugging and keep pushing and keep trying to gain, back, really, what I felt I lost last year in a rough rookie season.”