Most expected it to be Johnny Football Time in Cleveland at some point this season. Just not quite this early.
In the first quarter of Sunday’s contest against the New York Jets, starting quarterback Josh McCown took a big hit and was quickly diagnosed with a concussion. And on Johnny Manziel’s second throw in relief, he hit Travis Benjamin in stride for 54 yards on 3rd-and-19 (you can see the video above). It was Manziel’s first career passing touchdown after throwing zero on 35 attempts as a rookie last year.
On the play right before it, Manziel showed off the athleticism that made him a first-round pick a year ago, as he alluded a couple a defender and scrambled for 22 yards. It was called back on holding, but it was an example of why he can be such a dynamic weapon:
McCown will have to go through concussion protocol, but even if he’s healthy, he may have a difficult time getting back on the field if Manziel keeps producing plays like this. At the very least, Johnny Football is capable of making the battle for QB1 a much more serious discussion.