Johnny Football won't be be lining up against the Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury, coach Mike Pettine announced.
So, the Browns could start rookie quarterback Connor Shaw against the Ravens. Shaw is an undrafted free agent who excelled at South Carolina with a 27-5 all-time record and flashed some potential during the preseason.
There's also a chance that veteran quarterback and former starter Brian Hoyer could play despite a shoulder injury. The Ravens need to beat the Browns and have the San Diego Chargers lose to the Kansas City Chiefs to earn the sixth AFC playoff spot.
The news about Manziel broke at the start of Ravens coach John Harbaugh's Monday news conference at team headquarters.
“I didn't know that, that’s good,” Harbaugh said when informed about Manziel’s status. "It's Hoyer or Shaw? Is Hoyer hurt? I mean, not good that he has a shoulder injury. The NFL police are out there. I'm not rooting for injuries. I just didn't know.”
Hoyer hasn't been officially ruled out, but Pettine said he's extremely sore. The Browns discussed bringing in veteran quarterback Rex Grossman, but a deal couldn't be worked out.
Not having Manziel on the field isn’t necessarily a good thing for the Ravens considering how poorly the former Heisman Trophy winner has played with defenders openly mocking Manziel’s signature money-making gesture. Manziel has zero touchdown passes, two interceptions and 175 passing yards for a 42.0 quarterback rating in two starts and five games played.
This sets up a similar situation to the Ravens' 23-15 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday, where they were defeated by quarterback Case Keenum. Keenum had been on the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad until last week and was winless in his previous eight NFL starts.
“We've had some experience with that, absolutely," Harbaugh said. “[Shaw] played in the preseason. We'll watch it. I have a feeling that Hoyer might show up.”
Shaw never lost a home game in his career for the Gamecocks, going 17-0.
“His strength lies in his competitiveness,” Pettine told Cleveland reporters on a conference call Monday. "If he does have to play, I wouldn't be surprised if he plays well. He has that 'it' factor. He's well-respected by his teammates. He works his tail off.''