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Browns expected to start Johnny Manziel against Steelers

Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said the team will start the quarterback who gives them the best chance at winning. For now, that seems to be Manziel.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

For the second week in a row, Johnny Manziel is likely to start at quarterback for the Cleveland Brownsaccording to Adam Schefter of ESPN. It seems banged-up Josh McCown isn't healthy enough to help the team win this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"As I've said all along, we'll make the decision each week based on who gives us the best opportunity to win,'' head coach Mike Pettine said on a conference call last week.

On Tuesday, he clarified that, saying that McCown would start if he was healthy. McCown practiced all three days this week, though he was listed as a limited participant.

McCown has definitely outperformed Manziel as a starter, but with the Browns at 2-7 and all but eliminated from the postseason, the idea of starting the younger player gets more tempting. In Cleveland's last game, a 31-10 loss to the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals, Manziel was able to make some first-half plays with his mobility, but struggled badly in the second half once the Bengals adjusted to keep him in the pocket.

He has played in five of Cleveland's seven games, starting two, and is completing just 51.8 percent of his passes, compared to McCown's 65 percent. Surprisingly, he has the better touchdown-to-interception ratio, with four TDs and just one interception, while McCown has 11 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Equally surprisingly, Manziel hasn't been able to use his mobility to the extent people would expect. He's been sacked on a higher percentage of his dropbacks, and is rushing for an average of 14.6 yards per game, not much ahead of McCown's 12.3.

Manziel is also waiting for news from the NFL about any possible punishment from the road-rage incident involving his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley.