By Tom Withers, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel told police that he had been drinking alcohol before they questioned him following a domestic incident with his girlfriend while driving on a highway.
Manziel was parked in a gravel driveway Monday when Avon, Ohio, police located him after he had an argument with girlfriend Colleen Crowley.
According to a police report, a witness said Crowley tried to exit Manziel’s moving vehicle as the former Heisman Trophy winner tried to keep her in his car. When the spoke to him, police said Manziel told them he had consumed two alcoholic drinks earlier in the day.
Manziel wasn’t arrested and Crowley told police she didn’t want to press charges. The couple was allowed to leave the scene together.
Manziel, who was drafted by the Browns in the first round in 2014, spent 70 days in a Pennsylvania rehab facility earlier this year for an unspecified condition. It is not known if his aftercare prohibits him from drinking.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer released a statement Friday night.
“It is a matter that we take seriously and have expressed our concerns to Johnny directly,” Farmer said. “Those conversations will remain private and we will refrain from further comment at this time.”
A team spokesman said Manziel’s status for the Browns’ home game Sunday against Denver has not changed. He could face discipline by the NFL per its personal-conduct policy.
Manziel, whose rough rookie season was followed by him checking himself into a center that specializes in treatment for alcohol and substance abuse, has been Josh McCown’s backup for the past three games. He started for an injured McCown in Week 2 and led the Browns to a win over Tennessee.
Shortly after the Browns issued their statement, Manziel posted an explanation on his Twitter account.
“Colleen and I got into a dumb public argument on the way home Monday afternoon,” Manziel wrote. “It probably looked more interesting than it was and I know I would stop and check if I saw a couple arguing on the side of the road. It was embarrassing but not serious and when we talked to the police and they realized everything was alright and I was sober, we went home together and everything is fine.”
Crowley went on Instagram to give her explanation of the incident.
“J & I are good,” she said. “I appreciate the people who stopped to check on us and call the police. I could see how it may have looked. Anytime anyone sees a guy and a girl arguing on the side of a road they should definitely stop, you never know what that could be. Fortunately it was just an argument, it was private, and we are all good!”
According to the police report, officers noticed an abrasion on Crowley’s arm, but said it was caused by Manziel restraining her from jumping from the car. Police said Crowley appeared intoxicated and she told them she had consumed at least three drinks.
Browns linebacker Paul Kruger arrived at the scene while Manziel was being questioned.
The Browns have been impressed with Manziel’s attitude and a renewed commitment this season. That wasn’t the case during 2014 when he struggled on and off the field, leading to speculation about his future as a pro.
Manziel has not spoken to the media in several weeks.
This is the second high-profile incident involving alcohol that the Browns have had to deal with recently. Former offensive line coach Andy Moeller was investigated following an assault complaint filed against him by his fiancee. The Browns quickly suspended Moeller, who has since parted ways with the team.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.