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Browns QB decision day to day as McCown, Manziel both prepare to start

Browns quarterbacks Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel will both prepare to start Thursday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, coach Mike Pettine said Tuesday.

McCown is dealing with injuries to his throwing shoulder and ribs. He played through noticeable pain in Sunday's loss to Arizona but was only relieved for the game's final series.

McCown admitted he felt better Tuesday than Monday, but the soreness was stronger than it was after Sunday's game.

"Some of the things I'm dealing with are just kind of going to be what we're dealing with," McCown said. "Training staff is doing a great job of helping me feel as good as possible. Better than yesterday, and hopefully, just keep that up.

"It's part of what we do, part of this job, part of what we do. I'm not the only guy in this locker room that is sore. I'm not the only person that woke up somewhere dealing with something that didn't feel good. It's just part of it. You just go to work, do your job, part of those things that happen. Fight through it the best you can."

McCown said he had zero regrets about playing through the pain against the Cardinals in a game that saw the Browns build a 20-7 lead but fail to score in the second half. He's also "not wired" to simply take a game off and try to get healthy and ready for Cleveland's Nov. 15 game at Pittsburgh.

Pettine said McCown would do "limited work" at Tuesday's practice, which was anticipated to be a jog/walkthrough. The Browns coach equated the dual starting preparation to what the Browns implemented last week, only with less time leading into the game.

Pettine and the Browns training staff will "rely heavily" on feedback from McCown as they determine whether he's fit to start against the undefeated Bengals.

"You do your best to play through it as much as you can," McCown said. "As long as you can get yourself to a point where you don't feel like it's affecting your play or your throws, then you're good to go."

Both McCown and Pettine expressed their confidence in Manziel, who made his first career start last year against the Bengals. Pettine said he's seen a different quarterback since that 30-0 loss, and the win Manziel collected in a spot start for McCown in September validates the progression he's made.

"I just think we've all seen it from going back to the amount of work in the spring to training camp and when the rush became live I think that's where you saw that he made his biggest improvement, his demeanor in the pocket," Pettine said. "It wasn't as frenetic, that his feet were calm. I just think he has a really good understanding of what we're doing, understands the plays, what's designed for what."

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