Home fans hoping to get a glimpse of quarterback Johnny Manziel had to keep their eyes focused on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ bench on Friday night.
The Tiger-Cats improved to 2-1 with a 31-17 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as Manziel remained a spectator for his third straight regular-season game since signing with Hamilton.
Jeremiah Masoli, the returning starting quarterback from a year ago, threw for 369 yards on 31-of-41 passing with a touchdown and an interception for the Tiger-Cats.
It marked the eighth consecutive 300-yard game for Masioli, which is one shy of the CFL record held by Montreal’s Sam Etcheverry (1956) and Saskatchewan’s Kent Austin (1991), according to TSN.
“I didn’t even know until I was on the field that the number of 300-yard games that he’s had,” said Hamilton coach June Jones, who kept Manziel on the bench despite his team taking a 21-point lead into the fourth quarter.
A former Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M Manziel has not played in a regular-season game since the end of the 2015 season with the Cleveland Browns.
Manziel signed a two-year contract with the Tiger-Cats in May. He appeared in a pair of exhibition games, completing 21 of 32 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown.
The No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel played in 15 games with Cleveland over two seasons. He completed 57 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and seven fumbles before his release in March 2016.
Following the 2015 season, Manziel entered a rehabilitation center and was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.