Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel, who due to concussion protocol sat out the team’s regular season finale yesterday, was seen at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood casino on Saturday dining and gambling, according to patrons and employees who he interacted with.
A waitress at Planet Hollywood’s Heart Bar who served Manziel and his guests, Tina Samira, said that the embattled quarterback, who has had a slew of off-field issues since his 2014 rookie season with the Browns, paid cash for his meal at the restaurant in the casino. According to 43-year-old John Hornacek, a patron at the casino, he witnessed an exchange between Manziel and a casino employee when his ID was checked at a blackjack table, according to USA Today.
Brown’s coach Mike Pettine ruled the 23-year-old Manziel out of Sunday’s game on Thursday. Pettine said that Manziel was in the League’s post-concussion protocol. Cleveland played host to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday and ended its regular season with a record of 3-13 after the days 28-12 loss. Whether or not Manziel was in Cleveland, or if his being in Sin City the night before was a violation of team rules, is unknown as the team had no official comment. Either way it’s not a favorable look for the struggling franchise if the report proves to be true.
While players suffering from concussions are not required by the Browns to be at the stadium for home games, they are required to check in with medical staff prior to games, which on Sunday night the team’s owner, Jimmy Haslam said Manziel did not do, as reported by ESPN.COM. In his final postgame news conference Pettine was asked if Manziel had been in Las Vegas, he said “I don’t know. I wasn’t,” but later the coach said that if the rumors were true, “it would be disappointing.” Pettine added that if a player is in concussion protocol he does not have to travel with the team. He said, “They can be in the stadium, but they’re not required,” and “They’re not permitted to be on the sideline.”
Whether or not Manziel will be with the Browns next season or the one after that will be decided by the team’s new general manager and its executive vice president Sashi Brown, said Haslam. After Sunday’s game the Brown’s preempted the notorious “Black Monday” and cleaned house by firing GM Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine. While the owner would clearly have an opinion, Haslam said he didn’t think it was the appropriate time to express it.
Manziel posted a photon on Instagram that showed him with his dog at home, once the word of his presence in Vegas spread on social media; the hashtag read #SaturdayNights. Avon, Ohio was later added as the photo’s location.