The Cleveland Browns are decrying Mike Silver of NFL.com’s report that Johnny Manziel showed up to practice drunk and that the organization covered it up by placing Manziel on the NFL’s concussion protocol.
In a statement obtained by Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the organization said the report “is false” on Tuesday:
“Johnny Manziel came to our facility on the morning of December 30th and complained of concussion symptoms,” the Browns said in a statement. “He was tested by an independent neurologist and entered the league’s concussion protocol. He remained in the protocol until January 12th after being cleared by the independent neurologist.”
Of course, we all know the story of how, instead of showing up to fulfill his obligations to the Browns in Week 17, Manziel showed up to Las Vegas as “Billy,” partying it up while the franchise was stuck answering uncomfortable questions about his whereabouts.
Silver broke his news Tuesday morning on NFL Network that the entire concussion issue was nothing more than a cover-up, which he found out speaking to a Browns player leading up to Super Bowl week:
“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 say this again: The Browns lied. To try to protect, and, what I would argue, enable, this irresponsible and very troubled young man.”
If such a thing could be proved, Cleveland would be in a world of trouble, but the league doesn’t appear to be looking into the issue right now, per Cabot.
Furthermore, as it stands right now as a rumor, given the subject matter it’s just one more thing to throw on top of the pile.
Manziel’s issues are, at this point, making anything football-related seem insignificant.
After the police investigation into Manziel’s latest altercation with his ex-girlfriend was reopened, and considering the information that is coming out about it, the troubled quarterback has much bigger issues to contend with.