Montreal Alouettes quarterback Johnny Manziel warms up prior to a CFL football game against the Edmonton Eskimos in Montreal on July 26, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Johnny Manziel to make CFL debut on Friday

Former Heisman Trophy winner hasn’t started a regular season game since December 2015 with the Cleveland Browns

Johnny Manziel couldn’t ask for a better team to make his CFL debut against.

Manziel will make his first CFL start Friday night when the Montreal Alouettes host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Manziel began the season with the Ticats and remained there until being dealt July 22 to the Als in a five-player deal that also included two first-round draft picks.

“I feel fortunate enough this week to be going against a team, a defence that I’ve seen more than any other defence since I’ve been in the CFL,” Manziel told reporters in Montreal on Tuesday. “I feel like I really know this personnel very well, I feel like I know this team in and out because I was a part of it.

“It’s definitely going to be a little weird playing against those guys but at the end of the day it’s business and I’m in a new home. It will be good to see some familiar faces this week but also a challenge and a very good defence.”

Montreal acquired Manziel and offensive linemen Tony Washington and Canadian Landon Rice for receiver Chris Williams, Canadian defensive lineman Jamaal Westerman and 2021-22 first-round draft picks. The move reunited Manziel with Alouetes head coach Mike Sherman, who recruited Manziel to Texas A&M.

Manziel dressed for Montreal’s 44-23 loss last week to Edmonton but didn’t play. Vernon Adams Jr. went the distance, completing 15-of-28 passes for 217 yards and an interception while rushing for 72 yards and a TD on eight carries.

Adams, a former teammate of Manziel’s in Hamilton, wasn’t the least bit surprised by the move.

“We all knew he wasn’t coming just to sit,” Adams said. “We helped him learn the offence as quick as possible, he’s still learning.

“Now, I’m going to be here for him, back him up. Whatever he needs help with, I’m here for him.”

Manziel made headlines across North America in May when he signed a two-year deal with Hamilton. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner played in both of the Ticats’ exhibition games — completing 21-of-31 passes for 168 yards and a TD while rushing six times for 19 yards — but remained on the sidelines as Jeremiah Masoli’s backup once the regular season began.

The contest will be between two teams that are struggling as Hamilton (2-4) and Montreal (1-5) have each lost three straight games.

The six-foot, 210-pound Manziel was taken in the first round, No. 22 overall, by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL draft but was released in March 2016 after posting a 2-6 record over two tumultuous campaigns on and off the field.

Manziel, 25, appeared in 14 games overall, throwing for 1,675 yards and seven TD passes.

Friday’s contest will be Manziel’s first regular-season start since Dec. 27, 2015 when he completed 13-of-32 passes for 136 yards and an interception while running for 108 yards in Cleveland’s 17-13 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Preparing Penticton workplaces for legalized pot

No easy answers to how legalized pot will affect the workplace

Penticton city council candidate questioning vote counters

Kevin Proteau has previously requested the city go back to manual vote counts

Quebec native on the road in the Okanagan to promote his vigorous vegan lifestyle

Frank Metivier is encouraging others to get the facts about turning vegan during his travels

Okanagan RCMP detachment hosts recruiting, exam sessions

If you’ve contemplated a career with RCMP, register for sessions at West Kelowna detachment

Okanagan junior hockey player named to U-17 Team Canada

Cole Shepard of the Penticton Vees was one of 66 players chosen to represent Canada

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Most Read