Manziel had started Cleveland's last two games, both losses.
The decision comes after Browns head coach Mike Pettine said Manziel's pattern of inappropriate behavior was cause for concern after videos surfaced over the weekend purportedly showing Manziel partying.
"I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O’Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback,” Pettine said in a statement. “I’ve spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.”
Manziel spent 10 weeks in rehab over the offseason.
“Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room,” Pettine added. “I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward.”
McCown last started in the team's 34–20 loss on Nov. 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. McCown missed two games with rib and shoulder injuries but told reporters on Tuesday that he would be ready to start on Monday night.
McCown has completed 165 of 254 passes for 1,897 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions this year.
- Christopher Chavez