JOHNNY MANZIEL should come with a warning sticker: Watching can be hazardous to your health.
On Sunday, the NFL will get its first extended look at Manziel, who routinely turned broken plays into touchdowns at Texas A&M and will now try to rescue the Browns' wilting playoff hopes.
As he prepares Manziel for his first career start, Cleveland offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said he's not sure what to expect from the rookie quarterback when he faces the Cincinnati Bengals.
Once Shanahan sends a well-designed play in from the sideline there's no telling what Manziel might do with it after the ball's snapped.
"Everything out here is pretty much scripted and stuff," Shanahan said following yesterday's practice. "I'm waiting. I'm sure it's going to happen pretty fast. We call a pass play, and he's going to do six spins reversing back and forth outside the pocket. I'm going to hold my breath be yelling half the time, and then probably be running and jumping on top of him excited at the end of it.
"Who knows what will happen. I think that's why everyone enjoys watching him, and that's why I'm excited to see what he does. It'll be fun."
Cleveland (7-6) has tapered its offense to suit the 22-year-old Manziel, who came off the bench for deposed starter Brian Hoyer 2 weeks ago at Buffalo and flashed some of his Johnny Football magic by tucking the ball away, recognizing a lane many quarterbacks wouldn't have seen and darting to the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown run.
With a week to install plays to best use Manziel's arm and legs, the Browns hope to keep the Bengals (8-4) off balance. But the bigger issue may be getting Manziel to understand that he doesn't have to transform every play into a TV highlight.
* Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Colt McCoy has had a "positive" recovery from a neck injury and is on pace to start this week against the New York Giants.
McCoy sprained his neck when he was sacked in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Gruden said Robert Griffin III will start if McCoy can't.
* Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said he feels lucky to be alive every time he gets a "glimpse or flash" at the truck he was driving in Tuesday's wreck near Bank of America Stadium.
"As far as when I'm coming back, who cares," Newton said in his first public statements since the two-car crash that will sideline him for at least Sunday's game against Tampa Bay. "That's not something I'm worried about. I'm just thankful to have breath in my lungs so I can breathe again."
Newton arrived at the stadium to begin rehabbing from the wreck that left him with two small fractures in his lower back. The injuries are similar to what Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered earlier this year. Romo missed one start.
* The New York Jets will likely have Jace Amaro back in the lineup at Tennessee.
The rookie tight end fully practiced for the first time since suffering a concussion against the Buffalo Bills in Detroit nearly 3 weeks ago.
* San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio expects outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks to return to the 49ers' starting lineup Sunday at Seattle after his benching last week for missing a team meeting.
In last night's game
* At St. Louis, Chandler Catanzaro kicked four field goals and the Arizona Cardinals (11-3) overcame the loss of quarterback Drew Stanton with stifling defense, moving closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 12-6 victory over the Rams (6-8).
Ryan Lindley was ineffective in his first appearance since 2012 in relief of Stanton, who injured his right knee on a sack in the third quarter. The Cardinals lost Carson Palmer to a season-ending knee injury during their 31-14 victory over St. Louis at home last month.