Wednesday’s roundup: Browns will start Manziel Thursday

Associated Press

Cleveland — Welcome to The Jungle, Johnny.

With starting quarterback Josh McCown unable to play because of a painful rib injury, Johnny Manziel will start tonight for the Browns against the Bengals.

In his first NFL start last season, Manziel was chased, sacked, intercepted and taunted by the Bengals in a 30-0 embarrassment.

Now, Manziel’s facing one of the league’s four remaining unbeaten teams on short notice.

McCown was unable to practice Tuesday night because of his ribs — and sore shoulder — and Browns coach Mike Pettine announced the decision to start Manziel on Wednesday before the team left for Cincinnati.

“On the short week we realized that Josh just wasn’t going to be able to get to the point where he could go,” Pettine said.

This will be the second start this season for Manziel, who won against Tennessee in Week 2 when McCown was out because of a concussion.

“Obviously, that was not the first career start I would have hoped for or expected when the Bengals came to our stadium last year,” Manziel said. “I did learn from it and I feel much more confident in my abilities now because of the progress I feel like I’ve made over this season. My experience in that game from last year should help me.”

Personnel dept.

The 49ers have officially made the change at quarterback from Colin Kaepernick to Blaine Gabbert, who will start against Atlanta on Sunday.

... Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at quarterback for the Jets against the Jaguars on Sunday.

... Wide receiver Steve Smith’s season is done after the Ravens placed him on injured reserve because of a torn right Achilles tendon.

... Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul says he is ready to play Sunday against the Buccaneers. All he has to do is convince the Giants’ medical staff to let him play with the right hand that he injured in a fireworks accident on July 4.

... Rams backup running back Trey Watts has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.