McCown said Tuesday it would take longer than a few days or perhaps weeks for his ribs to heal, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. The 36-year-old passer wouldn't say if his ribs were broken, but McCown -- who's had trouble breathing and sleeping -- "didn't sound good or optimistic" about suiting up Thursday. McCown did not practice Tuesday night, according to Cabot.
Manziel was given a full week to prepare for Tennessee, but Thursday's task is a tall order for the second-year passer: Rolling into Cincinnati to face an AFC heavyweight on a short week.
Teams typically stage a practice and a walkthrough before Thursday night tilts, barely enough time for Manziel to get a handle on the game plan. That's the world of a backup quarterback, though.
The positive for the Browns is the fine work of first-year coordinator John DeFilippo, who has milked solid performances out of McCown and Manziel when most wrote off both quarterbacks before the season.
Still, Manziel's critical second campaign now takes a challenging turn. The Browns are shorthanded on offense and a wild mess on defense. Rolling out an inexperienced passer doesn't help. Unlike last year's fellow rookie starters -- Blake Bortles, Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater -- Johnny has barely seen the field.
While some might wonder if Manziel is being thrown into the fire at the worst possible time, this also represents a prime opportunity to shift perceptions about his up-and-down career on the national stage.
It's your move, Johnny.