Alouettes place QB Johnny Manziel under concussion protocol

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Johnny Manziel was placed under the CFL concussion protocol on Wednesday.

He was rocked by a hit while trying to run the ball over the goal-line in a 24-17 loss in Ottawa last weekend in his second career CFL start.

“On Tuesday morning, Johnny Manziel mentioned to our medical staff that he felt symptoms that could be associated with the prescribed medication he uses for a previously diagnosed medical condition,” the Alouettes said in a statement. “He then missed practice in order to have some blood work done.

“In view of the hit he received on Saturday and the potential mitigating side effects of his prescribed medication, the Alouettes medical staff has placed Manziel under the CFL concussion protocol for further observation and precautionary reasons. Manziel will be closely observed and assessed in the next few days.”

According to Bar Stool Sports’ Kayce Smith, Manziel won’t play in Week 10 against the Edmonton Eskimos.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner struggled in his CFL debut but looked better against the Redblacks. He did fumble after taking the hit but Montreal recovered for the touchdown.

There was concern that Manziel had suffered a concussion during the game and should have been taken out, but coach Mike Sherman said he was looked at by experts and cleared to continue playing.

“I was right there when it happened,” said Sherman. “He came off the field, sat down.

“We were going to go for two (on the convert) and then the doctor said he’s out. Then we decided to go for one. I went over to the bench. He was talking coherently. It didn’t look like there were any problems. The official came in right beside me. He said ‘this is what I have to see.’ So he came over and looked at Johnny and he said ‘oh, he looks OK.’ So that was that.

“There was a spotter and our doctors were there, so I left.”

Sherman said he drove back from Ottawa with Manziel and all seemed fine. But he missed practice while going for blood tests Tuesday and wasn’t on the field again on Wednesday, although he attended quarterbacks meetings both days.

“If I knew there was anything wrong with Johnny. . . I would never put a player in harm’s way and neither would this organization,” said Sherman. “The doctors looked at him. The spotter looked at him. He recited the playbook to us, which is not an easy thing to do. So at the point, he was ready to go in.”

The Alouettes have banked heavily on Manziel to help save their season. The former Texas A&M star had a disastrous CFL debut two weeks ago against Hamilton, throwing four interceptions in the first half, but looked much better against Ottawa.

The Alouettes face the Eskimos on Saturday night. Manziel missed practice on Tuesday for a prescheduled medical appointment. Sherman saw no reason why Manziel would not be fit to play in Edmonton.

“Nothing that I’ve been told or indicated. He and I spent a lot of time after the game sitting on the bench talking at the stadium before we headed home, talking about how he did, talking about everything,” Sherman said.

“There was nothing he indicated to me or anybody else that it would be a problem.”

Manziel’s status clearly changed on Wednesday when he missed practice for the second straight day.

-CP

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