Dropped from starter to third-stringer – without playing a game.
Johnny Manziel partied his way out of the lineup during Cleveland’s bye week.
Browns coach Mike Pettine benched the polarizing quarterback on Monday for his off-field behavior, a move that could signal Manziel’s days with the team are numbered.
Pettine said Josh McCown will start Monday night’s game against Baltimore in place of Manziel, who was recently handed the starting job but couldn’t keep it while the team had a week off.
Manziel’s benching comes in the wake of a video surfacing of him holding a bottle of champagne and rapping profane lyrics last weekend in an Austin, Texas, nightclub. He had promised not to bring any embarrassment to the team during its week off, and did just that and Pettine, who has been supportive of Manziel in the past, has had enough.
“Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard,” Pettine said.
“The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level,” he said. “It goes well beyond the field.”
Manziel will not only move back behind McCown, but he’ll also be below Austin Davis on the depth chart.
Peyton Manning in walking boot
Peyton Manning will miss at least the next two weeks after consulting with a foot specialist who put him in a walking boot.
Manning sought a second opinion from renowned foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in North Carolina on Monday.
Coach Gary Kubiak had already ruled out Manning, who has a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, for Sunday night’s showdown between Denver (8-2) and the Patriots (10-0).
Now, Manning will also miss the Broncos’ game at San Diego on Dec. 6 at the very least.
Longtime backup Brock Osweiler led Denver past Chicago 17-15 in his first NFL start last weekend.
The Broncos are expected to work out former Vikings QB Christian Ponder on Wednesday.
Patriots, Panthers ranked 1-2
The New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers remained the league’s only unbeaten teams going into Week 12.
Not surprisingly, both teams also retained the top spots in the latest AP Pro32 rankings.
The Patriots received 10 of the 12 first-place votes in balloting by the 12 media members who regularly cover the league.
The Patriots earned a 20-13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.
The Panthers took the other two first-place votes.
At 10-0, the Panthers have joined some elite company.
Entering 2015, 15 teams started a season 10-0 during the Super Bowl era. Of those 15 teams, all qualified for the playoffs, nine advanced to the Super Bowl and six of those teams won the Super Bowl.
The Panthers will get the first chance to move to 11-0 when they face the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
The Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals remained at No. 3 and 4, while the Denver Broncos moved up one spot to No. 5.
The Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs round out the top 10.
Ravens sign Jimmy Clausen, put Joe Flacco on IR
The Baltimore Ravens have claimed quarterback Jimmy Clausen off waivers to serve as backup to Matt Schaub.
To make room for Clausen on the roster, the Ravens placed quarterback Joe Flacco on injured reserve.
Flacco tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee Sunday in a 16-13 win over St. Louis and is lost for the season. Schaub will be the starter on Monday night at Cleveland.
Clausen was waived by the Bears on Monday. He played in two games with Chicago this season, starting once.
Around the league
The NFL has suspended Panthers defensive end Frank Alexander without pay for a minimum of one year for violating the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse for a third time. … Rams quarterback Case Keenum did not practice while going through the NFL’s concussion protocol, and coach Jeff Fisher is hopeful he’ll be cleared Wednesday. … Pass rusher Quinton Coples was claimed by the Miami Dolphins, meaning he may get to play Sunday against the team that just released him – the New York Jets. … Coach Rex Ryan expects quarterback Tyrod Taylor will be healthy enough to start in the Buffalo Bills’ game at Kansas City this weekend.
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