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Browns deny lying about Johnny Manziel concussion to cover up drinking

Johnny Manziel

NFL Network’s Mike Silver delivered a bombshell report that claims the Cleveland Browns lied about Johnny Manziel having a concussion to cover up the fact he showed up to a practice drunk ahead of the team’s regular-season finale.

The Browns on Tuesday responded to the allegations, categorically denying them in their entirety.

“Johnny Manziel was diagnosed with a concussion by an independent neurologist,” the team said in a statement, via a series of tweets from Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, by way of Pro Football Talk. “He wasn’t cleared until Jan. 12. The fact that people are saying we lied about [Manziel’s] concussion is false.”

Silver’s original report alleged the “Browns lied and said he was in the concussion protocol.” He added that it was his view that the Browns were enabling “this irresponsible and very troubled young man” through their actions.

Cabot added via Twitter on Tuesday morning that she heard similar accounts of what Silver was reporting and the recent allegations seem to corroborate an allegation from about the same time — it is believed the practice in question was on Dec. 30 — from Browns analyst Tony Grossi that an “inebriated” Manziel was “sent home” from practice.

Cabot indicated when she asked the Browns about the veracity of the report that Manziel was “inebriated” and “sent home,” the team replied that the quarterback was indeed suffering from a concussion. When she queried the NFL about Manziel’s concussion on Jan. 4, the league deferred comment, calling it a “team medical issue.”

Manziel of course facing far more serious and troubling issues in light of an alleged domestic violence incident involving ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley. But the Browns certainly are facing some serious issues of their own if there is any accuracy to Silver’s reporting.