Johnny Manziel has replaced Austin Davis as the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback, head coach Mike Pettine announced Tuesday.
"[Manziel]'s been solid in the building over the last couple of weeks and we are hopeful he takes this opportunity to continue to build on the progress he's made on the field throughout the season," Pettine said. "The goal for every game is to go out and win, and Johnny needs to show that he can put us in position to do so during these last four weeks of the season."
On Monday, Pettine told the press that he was "not prepared to name a starting quarterback yet" for the team's Week 14 game against the San Francisco 49ers. He said he would sit down with the quarterbacks on Tuesday and decide who would start. After that meeting, Pettine determined that Manziel would be the starter moving forward.
Manziel was named the starter earlier this year, but was demoted to third-string quarterback after a video surfaced of him partying with alcohol involved. Given his rehab this offseason, and reports that he lied to coaches about the timing of the video, Josh McCown was given the starting job again and Manziel was placed behind Austin Davis on the depth chart.
Some thought it was more of a symbolic move, but when McCown was injured against the Baltimore Ravens, Davis came in and played the rest of the game in relief. He then made the start in Sunday's game against the Browns' intrastate rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the decision to punish Manziel wasn't a unanimous decision in the organization and some believed Pettine was just trying to "exert his presence." Manziel's return to the starting lineup might be a bad sign for Pettine, who has just two wins in the last 17 games and was asked about the possibility of getting fired after a 37-3 loss to the Bengals.
"We haven't had those discussions," Pettine said. "We're just going to fall back on what we know how to do. We're going to come in every day, prepare relentlessly like we do, we're going to coach our players hard and we will see what happens."
Cleveland has a 2-10 record, is the leader for the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday. Davis completed 25 of 38 passes for 230 yards, no touchdowns and an interception, putting up a QB rating of 71.2. With the Browns going nowhere once again, it makes sense to see if Manziel has a future with the team in 2016.
Manziel has made six appearances this season, completing 59.4 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has 90 rushing yards on 17 carries.