Tony Dejak, File
September 07, 2015

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Johnny Manziel's elbow is rested and ready for the season opener.

Cleveland's backup quarterback threw passes in practice Monday for the first time since Aug. 23, when a sore right elbow sent him to the sideline and kept him out of the Browns' final two exhibitions.

The second-year QB threw several short passes during the 30 minutes of practice open to media members, and coach Mike Pettine said Manziel was able to throw throughout the workout.

Afterward, Manziel reported that his elbow passed its first significant test in weeks, and he has no doubt he'll be available to back up starter Josh McCown in Sunday's first game against the New York Jets. The 22-year-old said he never ''cut loose'' on any throws because it's early in the week, and there's no sense in pushing things after he's made progress.

''There's no reason to really be out there ripping them around when I'm trying to build back up into it,'' he said. ''Obviously, I haven't thrown for 10 days or something, so ease back into things where we need to be.''

Manziel has dealt with elbow issues since his freshman year at Texas A&M. In the past, rest and treatments have helped him recover. And although he missed some playing time during the preseason, Manziel doesn't think the break has hampered his progress.

''I'm on a good path mentally, in the classroom and where I need to be in the playbook and everything,'' he said. ''Obviously, missing out on a couple reps there, but other than that, I don't think it has slowed me too much.''

Manziel had been limited to throwing tennis balls and weighted balls during his recovery. He began to ''toss'' the football around in the past few days.

His elbow issues have led to speculation about his playing future, but Manziel said the injury doesn't have him worried long-term. In fact, he feels he'll be more prepared to handle any future soreness. He'll be careful about when he throws and how often.

One of Manziel's biggest fans, former NFL coach and current TV broadcaster Jon Gruden, said last week that he would be concerned about any young quarterback with elbow problems.

Manziel, however, is confident he'll be fine.

''It could be Jon's concern. It could be other people's concern outside the building, but I don't think that really matters,'' Manziel said. ''It's not a concern to me. It's not a concern to anybody in this building. I think that's what matters. So maybe he's worried about it, but I'm not.''

To add depth at the position, the Browns, who released No. 3 quarterback Thad Lewis on Saturday, signed Austin Davis. He went 3-5 as a starter last season for St. Louis, but was cut by the Rams. Davis completed 180 of 284 passes last season for 2,001 yards and 12 touchdowns with nine interceptions - four of those were returned for TDs.

If anyone understands the importance of being ready, it's Davis, who was thrust into action last season after starter Sam Bradford tore an anterior cruciate ligament in the preseason and veteran Shaun Hill injured his calf during the regular-season opener.

''You've always got to be prepared,'' Davis said. ''Last year I'm going into the season as the No. 3 quarterback and ended up playing in the first game and starting eight, so I know how fast it can happen.''

NOTES: Browns rookie RB Duke Johnson did not practice as he remains in the league's program for concussions. He was injured in the Aug. 29 game against Tampa Bay. ... Pettine addressed the team's trade of RB Terrance West to Tennessee, saying ''Terrance's issues here were well documented. We felt the decision was best for us moving forward and potentially best for him.'' West, plagued by inconsistency and immaturity, led the team with 673 yards rushing as a rookie. ... Rookie CB Charles Gaines was placed on injured reserve and designated for return. He hurt his hamstring in the preseason. A sixth-round draft pick, he'll be eligible to return to practice after Week 6 and eligible to play after Week 8.

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