Montreal Alouettes quarterback Johnny Manziel cleared the CFL's concussion protocol earlier this week, but spent Friday's game on the bench.
Johnny football returned from the concussion scare on Wednesday and could have played in the game Friday against the Ottawa RedBlacks. But instead, coach Mike Sherman decided to go with QB Antonio Pipkin. And it paid off as the Als defeated the RedBlacks 21-11 and avoided a season sweep of their series (Ottawa had won the first two games between the teams this season).
Speaking after the game, CBC quotes Pipkin as saying:
"We won the game so I feel great and it was a lot of fun. I played well enough for us to win. I kind of got the chains moving and keep us with the lead and kill the clock some. I threw two interceptions so I've got to make up for those, but overall I played well enough for us to win."
The win was Pipkin's second straight victory— he got the start last week with Manziel in concussion protocol and lead the Alouettes past the Toronto Argonauts to end the teams 6-game losing streak.
Leading up to the game Friday, Sherman had said all the right things, about being happy and comfortable with both QBs. Telling TSN Radio 690:
"We're in a very good position compared to maybe where we were at the beginning of the season. We feel very comfortable with our quarterback situation. Obviously Pipkin did a great job in the game the other day and helped us to a victory. When Johnny plays, he does a good job. We feel very comfortable with both of them"
However, anyone who has watched both quarterbacks play the last few games would probably have been much more comfortable with Pipkin than Manziel.
Manziel arrived in Montreal from Hamilton, with a lot of hype (as is the case everywhere the former Heisman trophy winner goes). But his play on the field prior to the concussion had been anything but impressive. In his first two starts with the Als, Manziel threw for just 272 yards and threw 4 interceptions.
However, the CFL game is different from what Manziel played in college in the United States and his time in the NFL, so it seems fair that he should get more than just two games to work through the kinks and really show what he can do. And when Montreal got Johnny back in July, Sherman was pretty upfront about acquiring Manziel to play, saying that they "didn't bring him here to have him sit on the bench."
And while Pipkin is making it harder for the coach to put Manziel on the field, odds are that Johnny will get at least one more chance to lead the team and finally turn his professional football career around.