The rehabilitation of former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel took another step forward, after the Heisman winner got the starting nod for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
Manziel will start for the CFL’s Alouettes this coming Friday in the team’s game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, USA Today reported.
The Alouettes announced Manziel’s starting shot on Twitter on July 31.
— #AlsMTL (@MTLAlouettes) July 31, 2018
“We didn’t trade for Johnny to have him sit on the bench, so obviously, Johnny’s come over here to get reps and become the best player he can become, and we stated that process today,” Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman told CBC Sports. “You probably all figured it out yourself, but when you have two players, you wait till game time to make that announcement.”
Former Alouettes starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. was a bit rankled last Thursday when fans began chanting “We want Johnny” as the team lost to the Edmonton Eskimos in a 44-23 final. Adams completed 15 of his 28 passes for 217 yards and suffered one interception. He did not throw for a single touchdown but did earn a team-high 72 rushing yards with one rushing score.
“Yes, it hurt me to hear that,” Adams told La Presse about his reaction to the fans’ chant for Manziel.
Adams went on to slam the fans: “I have nothing more to say or to give to the fans of Montreal. Never again. Their behavior was very disrespectful. It was not like I was playing badly. I do not want them to ask me for anything, not even a small piece of equipment.”
The disgruntled quarterback also vowed to treat the fans with just as much disrespect as he feels they afforded him.
“I do not care what the situation is,” Adams concluded. “It was a lack of respect, and it affected me. I tried anyways to make plays on the field. But that’s fine. In the future, I’ll treat the fans as they treated me. That’s all.”
Manziel has not yet had much playing time with the Alouettes. He was traded from the Tiger-Cats to Montreal only on July 23. But with the opportunity to start, it will be his first regular-season game since he left the Cleveland Browns in Week 16 of the 2015 NFL season.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.