BEREA, Ohio — Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has dealt with a sore right arm since before he lifted the Heisman Trophy.
Manziel, who hasn't thrown a pass in practice since Aug. 23 because of elbow soreness and tendinitis, said those issues date back to his freshman year at Texas A&M — when he made a dazzling play almost every game for the Aggies. The 22-year-old is confident that rest will help his elbow and the issue won't derail his NFL career.
"I'm really not concerned about it at all," he said following Tuesday's practice.
However, he and the Browns were alarmed enough to seek second opinions, and they reached out to famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews to make sure they were taking the correct course of action. The Browns believe treatment and rest should alleviate the soreness, and Manziel said he has been told surgery isn't necessary.
"No, this is an injury, that from everything I've heard, no matter what the case it wouldn't require that (surgery)," he said. "It's just sore, just a little bit of overthrowing and I'm making sure I'm icing and doing what I need to do."
The Browns have limited him to just handing off during practice and they shut down Manziel from playing in the team's final two exhibitions. If he had been healthy, Manziel would have taken some snaps with Cleveland's starters against Tampa Bay and would have likely started this Thursday's game in Chicago. Not being able to get on the field has been frustrating.
The injury has also slowed the positive momentum Manziel has built since the offseason. He has impressed the Browns with his commitment following a rough rookie year, which was followed by a 10-week stay at in a Pennsylvania rehab facility specializing in drug and alcohol addiction.
"Yeah, it's tough," he said. "I wanted to be out there last week bad."
Manziel feels he should be able to resume throwing next week and that the added rest will allow him to be ready for the Sep. 13 season opener against the New York Jets.
Because he won't be throwing as much during the regular season as he did in training camp, Manziel doesn't think the soreness will "creep back" and be a problem. However, he also conceded the soreness may never "go away completely" and acknowledged dealing with some last year.
"Your elbow will get sore just from being a quarterback and throwing, but that's not anything out of the ordinary," he said.
Manziel said other teams were aware of his elbow issues in college before he was drafted with the No. 22 overall pick by Cleveland. As far as Manziel knows, other teams weren't scared off by his past.
"Teams kind of poked on me and prodded on me while I was at the Combine, but for the most part, to the best of my knowledge, it didn't really raise any red flags and I don't think it necessarily hurt where I was drafted or where I ended up," he said.
The Browns believe Manziel's side-arm throwing motion has contributed to his arm soreness. Manziel said he has thrown that way "since Day One" but that he didn't feel any pain while throwing long passes.