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Report: Johnny Manziel returning to the starting lineup

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 30: Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 30, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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After the latest Browns loss, coach Mike Pettine said that the team would decide on Monday whether to start Johnny Manziel or Austin Davis against the 49ers in Week 14.

That decision has reportedly been made. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Manziel will be returning to the starting lineup after two weeks on the bench following the bye week partying that led Pettine to reverse course after naming Manziel the starter for the rest of the season.

Some might celebrate the news of a promotion by popping the cork on a bottle of champagne, but that’s probably best avoided by Manziel given the way things played out last time.

There may be some criticism of Pettine’s handling of the situation because it looks like the message that the team was sending to Manziel might run secondary to Davis’s poor showing against the Bengals, especially if other players have lost faith in Manziel. Criticism of the way Browns handle things is nothing new, however, and giving Manziel more time now should make it easier to come up with a plan for what to do with him in the offseason.