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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

The Cleveland Browns have benched quarterback Johnny Manziel and elevated former starter Josh McCown back to the first-team offense ahead of next week’s Monday Night Football game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Just one week ago, Manziel was named the starter, but off-the-field activities have cost him the opportunity to lead the Browns’ offense for the remainder of the season.

“Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said in a release from the team Tuesday afternoon. “I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O’Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback. I’ve spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.

“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. 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. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward.

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