NFL Wire News

NFL roundup: Manziel out; rookie Shaw likely starter


Johnny Manziel’s rookie season is over, and the Cleveland Browns will prepare Connor Shaw to be the starter if Brian Hoyer cannot play.

Manziel suffered a hamstring injury in Cleveland’s 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, and coach Mike Pettine said Monday that the injury would have sidelined the quarterback for several weeks if the Browns were still playing beyond this week. The Browns (7-8) finish their season at Baltimore on Sunday.

Hoyer replaced Manziel against Carolina but suffered a shoulder injury and will be evaluated throughout the week, Pettine said.

“I just know he’s very sore,” Pettine said. “Time’s going to heal it, but will it quiet down enough for him to be available Sunday?”

Shaw, a rookie who has spent the season on the practice squad, is expected to get first-team reps to prepare him for the start, and Pettine said the team is considering other quarterback options if it has to sign a player.

Manziel, Cleveland’s first-round pick earlier this year, played in five games, with two starts, and completed 51.4 percent of his passes (18 of 35) for 175 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He had a 42.0 passer rating. He also ran nine times for 29 yards and a touchdown.

—Chicago Bears quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who made his first start in four years, was diagnosed with a concussion Sunday evening after experiencing delayed symptoms and will not play this week.

Coach Marc Trestman started Clausen and benched Jay Cutler for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, who won 20-14. Cutler will start Chicago’s season finale against the Minnesota Vikings.

“Jay is our best option,” Trestman said after Clausen was ruled out.

“Jay gives us the best chance this week. So that’s why he’ll be out there. Jay said, ‘I’ll be ready to go.’ He empathizes with what Jimmy had gone through last night. He’s ready to go. He’ll be in this afternoon to get started.”

—Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould, who will sit out the final game of the season because of a nagging right quadriceps injury, criticized the decision to bench quarterback Jay Cutler.

“To be honest with you, I feel really bad for Jay,” Gould said Monday on 670 The Score in Chicago. “When you’re having a tough season like this, he’s not the guy to be the scapegoat or the guy to blame. There’s a lot of guys you could put that blame on. Unfortunately, I don’t know if necessarily he’s a guy that should take the entire blame because he doesn’t deserve it.”

Gould said his injury will sideline him for the road game against the Minnesota Vikings. Jay Feely will take over as the starter for the fourth consecutive game.

Gould questioned coach Marc Trestman’s decision to start Jimmy Clausen and sit Cutler in Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, who won 20-14.

—The NFL suspended Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola for the season finale for a stomping incident during Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Raiola stepped on Chicago Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson’s ankle during the third quarter of the Lions’ 20-14 victory at Soldier Field.

Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall thinks Raoila should get a much stiffer penalty.

“He shouldn’t be allowed in the NFL. He should be banned from the NFL,” Marshall told the Chicago Tribune. “This guy is a dirty player and he’s a worse human being.”

After the game, Raiola said the incident was unintentional.

—Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters that he will start rookie Logan Thomas over Ryan Lindley at quarterback this week against the San Francisco 49ers.

Lindley, making just his fifth career start, had a tough time against the Seattle Seahawks’ No. 1 defense Sunday night in a 35-6 loss. He completed just 18 of 44 passes for 216 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception, and he was sacked four times.

The Cardinals (11-4) are already in the playoffs and are hopeful of getting back Drew Stanton for the postseason. Stanton suffered a sprained knee Dec. 12 at St. Louis and was inactive vs. the Seahawks, although he did practice on a limited basis on Thursday.

—Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said the team wants to keep Larry Fitzgerald and has had ongoing talks with the wide receiver’s agent about renegotiating a contract that calls for a $23.6 million salary cap hit next year.

Fitzgerald, 31, is the franchise’s leading receiver, with 907 catches for 12,122 yards. Coach Bruce Arians said Fitzgerald is playing at just 70 percent due to the sprained knee that sidelined him in Weeks 12 and 13.

He has 61 catches for 755 yards this season — his worst numbers since his rookie season.

—Seattle Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung is expected to return to practice this week after missing the team’s 35-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night.

Okung sat out with a bruised lung suffered the previous week against the San Francisco 49ers.

Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse appears doubtful after suffering a pulled hamstring against the Cardinals. “That’s really touch-and-go to get back in a week’s time there,” Carroll said.

Carroll said center Max Unger, who has missed the past five games with a high ankle sprain, will “do whatever he can to get out there this week knowing that if we can get a win we’ll have a week off.”

—The New York Jets reportedly want to hire former NFL general manager Charley Casserly as a consultant for potential changes in the team’s leadership.

Owner Woody Johnson wants someone with football expertise as he evaluates whether to fire coach Rex Ryan and/or GM John Idzik, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Jets are 3-12 this season, a year after they finished 8-8 in Idzik’s first year as GM. Since leading the Jets to the AFC title game in his first two seasons (2009 and 2010), Ryan has not had a winning season (25-38).

Casserly, who works as an analyst for NFL Network, is a former GM of the Washington Redskins (1989-99) and Houston Texans (2000-06).

—The Buffalo Bills reportedly have agreed to release wide receiver Mike Williams off injured reserve.

Williams, who has recovered from a calf injury, will be free to sign with another team, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

The Bills acquired Williams from Tampa Bay for a sixth-round pick before the season, but he played in just nine games and caught just eight passes.

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