After a tumultuous rookie season and an off-season that included time in a rehab clinic, it looked like the Cleveland Browns were ready to move on from Johnny Manziel and turned to veteran journeyman Josh McCown to be their starting quarterback.
It was unclear when, if ever, Manziel would get another shot with the Browns. That shot came much sooner than anybody expected when McCown left the first half of Game 1 of the 2016 season with a head injury.
In came Manziel and he immediately reminded everybody just how exciting he can be on the football field when he has his head on straight.
On his first drive, Manziel scrambled for a 25-yard run when his pocket collapsed. The play was nullified by a penalty for a chop block, but the run was impressive and something few quarterbacks in the NFL can do.
After the penalty, Manziel then hit Travis Benjamin in stride down the left sideline.
Amazingly, for all Manziel has been through in the NFL, this was his first career touchdown pass and it was a beauty, going for 54 yards.
It is unclear how serious McCown’s injury is, but he will not return for the rest of the game. That means at least three quarters of Johnny Football and a chance for Manziel to show that he has turned the corner and is ready to be an NFL quarterback.