Johnny Manziel was much-improved in his second CFL start for the Montreal Alouettes, but after what looked like a nasty collision on the goal line in the third quarter of the game between Montreal and Ottawa, there was some initial concern he might not get a shot at start number three.
Manziel did end up jogging off the field and he returned for the next Montreal possession but when he took the hit on a scramble that led to a fumble recovery by Montreal, the former Heisman Trophy winner looked rocked. He was checked out on the sidelines, deemed good to go and returned, sporting a large welt on his chin during post-game comments.
A video of the hit is below:
A Johnny Manziel scramble to the endzone ended with this crushing hit and a fumble at the goal line.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 12, 2018
Manziel jogged off the field and would return to the game the following possession. pic.twitter.com/vJf6bYtO7W
Montreal ended up losing the game 24-17 and Manziel was outperformed by Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris but it was a much better game for Manziel who went 16-for-26 passing for 168 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions — miles better than the prior week in which he threw four interceptions to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Manziel said of the game, "I want to be fighting with these guys. I want to be their quarterback and the quarterback of this team in this city." Of the hit, he added he felt like he "ran into a brick wall... That defence was fast, that defence was big and aggressive … They hit hard, they're quick. But like I told these guys, you're not going to take me out like that," Manziel said.
Manziel has been sitting out for a long time waiting for another opportunity in football. After being ousted from the NFL, he went to Hamilton in the CFL only to practice and never start. He was then traded to Montreal and started just days later. His first outing was not favorable and his second outing better, but still didn't produce the desired score on the scoreboard.
He said, "It sucks when you don't see results. It's hard when you don't see results. But at the end of the day when you have faith in the guy to the left or right of you, your brothers on this team, we'll be OK."