CLEVELAND — Brian Hoyer has held off rookie Johnny Manziel for at least another week.
Browns coach Mike Pettine has chosen Hoyer to start at quarterback ahead of Manziel in Cleveland’s second exhibition game on Monday night at Washington against Robert Griffin III and the Redskins.
Pettine’s decision is somewhat surprising since he has stated that the quarterback competition is “open” and Hoyer started the preseason opener last week at Detroit. Pettine has said the two quarterbacks will share the snaps with Cleveland’s first-team offense against the Redskins.
“It’s just something right now where we are comfortable with Brian going out there to start the game,” Pettine said Thursday. “I think it’s a little overblown as to who the starter is going to be. The key component, as I’ve stated earlier this week, is that we are going to balance the reps.
“We will play it a little by ear as it goes on, we haven’t truly decided as far as the rotation but the goal is, for when we look at the stat sheet at halftime, that they both have the same amount of repetitions and hopefully they both get a good amount of work.”
Earlier this week, Pettine did not know if the quarterbacks would rotate by series or quarter. Pettine did say Cleveland’s starter would play “in the neighborhood” of a half.
Hoyer and Manziel have been competing for the starting job since training camp opened last month, and their back-and-forth battle appears to be headed into its final days.
Neither QB has taken control of the job, leading to endless speculation about who is leading and who needs to make up ground.
Working exclusively with Cleveland’s starters last week, Hoyer, in his first game action since sustaining a season-ending knee injury in 2013, completed 6 of 14 passes for 92 yards and set up two field goals.
Manziel, the immensely popular first-round pick from Texas A&M, only played with the second-stringers and completed 7 of 11 passes for 63 yards. He also rushed for a team-high 27 yards on six carries.
Redskins appeal trademark decision on team name
ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins on Thursday formally appealed a ruling that stripped the team of trademark protection, the latest legal maneuver in the franchise’s attempt to defend its name against those who consider it a racial slur.
The team announced that it had filed its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and that it “points out the many errors” in the decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board voted 2-1 on June 18 to cancel six uses of “Redskins” trademarked from 1967 to 1990, saying the name is “disparaging of Native Americans.”
“We believe that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision,” Redskins lawyer Bob Raskopf said in the team’s statement.
The team had previously said it would appeal the ruling and had two months to do so. The trademark protection remains in place while the matter makes its way through the courts, a process that could take years. A similar ruling by the trademark board in 1999 was overturned on a technicality in 2003. Native Americans have been challenging the trademark since 1992.
Coughlin, Reese, Manning take ice bucket challenge
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin, general manager Jerry Reese and quarterback Eli Manning have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Coughlin, Reese and Manning were each videotaped having a bucket of ice water poured over his head and challenged others to do the same or make a donation to fight ALS shortly after the Giants finished practice on Thursday.
The challenge was launched by the ALS Foundation to raise money for fighting ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It was started by friends and relatives of Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who is battling ALS.
Coughlin coached at Boston College in the 1990s.
Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka and long snapper Zak DeOssie performed the dousing.
“It’s cold,” Manning said. “It definitely takes your breath away for a little bit.”
Coughlin challenged NFL head coaches Gus Bradley (Jacksonville), John Fox (Denver), Mike Smith (Atlanta) and General Ray Odierno, the Army Chief of Staff who is a lifelong Giants fan.
“I am doing this in memory of a very good friend of mine by the name of Rick Murray, who fought ALS for seven years and passed away, but he was an inspiration to all that knew him,” Coughlin said.
Charges dropped against Rams RB
MIAMI — Prosecutors in Miami have dropped battery and disorderly conduct charges against St. Louis Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar in a fight outside a South Beach nightclub.
Dunbar attorney Howard Srebnick said Thursday that prosecutors told a judge that the case will not be pursued.
Dunbar and NBA free agent Donte Green were both charged following a July 20 altercation outside the Dream nightclub. The charges are still pending against Green. Dunbar had claimed he was only defending himself.
The 29-year-old Dunbar was signed in 2008 as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College by the New Orleans Saints and has played for the Rams since 2012. The NFL suspended Dunbar four games in 2013 for violating its substance abuse policy.