NFL Wire News

Bengals’ Lewis apologizes for mocking Manziel


Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis apologized Monday after calling Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel “a midget” during a radio interview earlier in the day.

Asked about his team preparing for this week’s game against the Browns, who might install Manziel as their starting quarterback, Lewis said on WLW-AM, “You gotta defend the offense. You don’t defend the player — particularly a midget.”

Manziel is listed at 6 feet, 210 pounds.

“I apologize to Johnny, the Browns and all the fans in Cleveland,” Lewis said later, according to ESPN. “It was just a poor remark. I really didn’t mean anything by it.”

Browns coach Mike Pettine is weighing whether to go with Manziel instead of Brian Hoyer at quarterback. Hoyer played poorly for the fourth consecutive game Sunday when the Browns lost 25-24 to the Indianapolis Colts.

Hoyer completed only 14 of 31 passes for 140 yards against the Colts. He threw one pass that was intercepted in the end zone and another that was picked off with two seconds to play when the Browns were desperately trying to get into field-goal range.

Sunday’s all-Ohio showdown in Cleveland will have a big bearing on the tight AFC North race. The Bengals (8-4-1) hold a half-game lead on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, both 8-5. The Browns (7-6) are in last place in the division but still in the hunt.

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