HAMILTON, Ontario — Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel made his preseason debut Friday night in the Canadian Football League, completing 9-of-12 passes for 80 yards in five offensive possessions for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats that did not result in any points.
Manziel was on the field for 23 plays after replacing starter Jeremiah Masoli, who played the first seven drives of the game against the Toronto Argonauts. Masoli completed 8-of-13 passes for 115 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Friday’s game marked the third time Manziel has played organized football since 2015, which was his second and final season with the Cleveland Browns. He also participated in two Spring League games in April before deciding to make a two-year commitment to the CFL and sign with the Tiger-Cats.
Manziel was most effective Friday when throwing from outside the pocket, including a 21-yard gain in the third quarter when Manziel was scrambling to his right. He also completed an 11-yard pass in the second quarter when scrambling to his left.
Manziel’s fifth and final possession showed promise as he advanced the Tiger-Cats’ offense from its own 29-yard line to Toronto’s 12-yard line. He threw away his ensuing first-down pass out of bounds and was called for intentional grounding because the ball failed to reach the line of scrimmage, resulting in second-and-32.
Two of Manziel’s possessions ended on third-down sacks, the equivalent of a fourth-down sack in the NFL. Another possession ended when his receiver caught a pass but fumbled.