Johnny Manziel was nowhere to be found at the Montreal Alouettes new uniform launch, but he had a convenient excuse.

Manziel was acquired in a blockbuster in-season trade last year when the Alouettes sent Canadian defensive end Jamaal Westerman, receiver Chris Williams and two first round draft picks to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.

Manziel passed for 1,290 yards, five touchdowns versus seven interceptions and rushed 29 times for 215 yards ending the season 2-6 as Montreal’s starter.

Many feel Manziel is the favourite to start the 2019 season as the Alouettes No. 1 pivot, so, naturally, having the face of the franchise at the event would have made sense. But Manziel caught the flu for the second time – despite taking time to record his podcast – in his Alouettes tenure.

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