NFL Wire News

NFL roundup: Manziel to start Thursday night


The Sports Xchange

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel will start against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night in place of injured Josh McCown.

The team made the announcement Wednesday. Coach Mike Pettine said the day before that McCown and Manziel would prepare to play, but McCown did not practice Tuesday.

McCown, who has started seven games for the Browns this season, injured his ribs in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. He also has been dealing with an injury to his throwing shoulder.

Manziel, in his second year in the NFL, played near the end of the game last week in his first action since leading the Browns to a 28-14 win in the second week of the season over the Tennessee Titans. In four games this season, Manziel has completed 28 of 50 passes for 393 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, with five sacks.

—Running back Joseph Randle cleared waivers a day after being dumped by the Dallas Cowboys.

The 31 other NFL teams had an opportunity to claim Randle and passed. The 23-year-old ran for 313 yards and four touchdowns on 76 carries in the Cowboys’ first six games this season before suddenly leaving the team last week.

Randle could be facing a one- or two-game suspension once he returns for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after a February arrest in Wichita, Kan. His record also includes a 2014 arrest for shoplifting.

—St. Louis Rams backup running back Trey Watts has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, the league announced.

Watts’ suspension without pay begins immediately. In May, the league announced Watts’ first suspension for violation of the same rule. He missed the first four games of the season.

Watts, the son of former Oklahoma quarterback and U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts, 24, also was a special teams player who played in 14 games as an undrafted rookie last season. He ran for 30 yards on seven carries and had three receptions for 18 yards. He made five tackles on special teams.

—The Baltimore Ravens signed wide receiver Joe Morgan and placed Steve Smith Sr. on injured reserve.

With Smith out for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon in the third quarter Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, the Ravens worked out a number of wide receivers Tuesday, including Hakeem Nicks, the former New York Giants standout.

A five-year NFL veteran, Morgan has seen action in 21 career games (eight starts), all with the New Orleans Saints. The 6-foot-1, 184-pounder has 14 catches for 471 yards and three touchdowns, with two rushes for 68 yards.

—Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor missed the last two games because of a knee injury, and while he says all the right things, it is unknown how mobile he will be against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Taylor must have his legs in full operational order because his mobility is a huge part of his game. Head coach Rex Ryan knows this, and is not worried about Taylor being able to escape pressure.

“There’s no other added risk,” Ryan said. “So he’s healthy. This is as healthy as he’s been all season. So I’m excited to see him. I’m excited to see a guy who can run a 4.4 (in the 40-yard dash) back there at quarterback. I’m excited to see his arm talent and the weapons that we can surround him with.”

—The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed defensive end Lawrence Sidbury to the active roster.

Sidbury played in one game for Tampa Bay last season and spent the offseason and preseason with the Bucs. He was released during the final round of roster cuts. In his sixth NFL season, Sidbury has played in 49 games, recording 15 tackles, five tackles for loss, five sacks and one fumble recovery, along with three special teams tackles.

The Bucs also signed linebacker Quayshawn Nealy and defensive end Ronald Powell to their practice squad.

About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business