Head coach Mike Sherman confirmed Johnny Manziel will start for the Montreal Alouettes Friday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Antonio Pipkin started the last four games for the Montreal but in his most recent game, he and the team struggled against the BC Lions. Pipkin helped the Alouettes finish with a 2-2 record during his time as QB, but Sherman believes it's time to shake things up. That shake-up includes bringing back former NFL'er and Heisman Trophy Winner Manziel who has yet to win a game nor score or throw for a touchdown in the CFL.
There was some speculation Sherman made the change after Manziel expressed frustration that he was cleared to return but still not being given an opportunity to start. Manziel said, “If the club had faith in me, I feel like I would be the guy, I feel like I would’ve been the guy after I came back from the concussion.”
Sherman shot down rumors and said the decision to make the change now had nothing to do with Manziel's comments.
Instead, Sherman said he would address the comments made at a later date and that Manziel was getting this opportunity based on how the Montreal offense performed in the last game. This will be Manziel's chance to show what he can do and potentially earn that starting job back.
Manziel started the season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and was traded to Montreal where he was immediately made the starting QB. However, early in his tenure with the Als, took a nasty hit and was then sidelined with concussion symptoms. It hasn't exactly been the best of CFL careers to date but there is lots of time for Manziel to get acquainted with the CFL game and turn things around.
If nothing else, he'll get another chance on Friday to prove to people he's not done with football yet, and maybe he'll get that elusive first win.