CLEVELAND — The Browns are defending their handling of Johnny Manziel's late-season concussion and denied a report that Manziel showed up drunk to a practice.
The team issued a statement Tuesday saying Manziel was diagnosed with a concussion on Dec. 30 by an independent neurologist, countering an NFL Network report that they lied about the injury to cover up the troubled quarterback showing up intoxicated for practice.
"Johnny Manziel came to our facility on the morning of December 30th and complained of concussion symptoms," the statement read. "He was tested by an independent neurologist and entered the league's concussion protocol. He remained in the protocol until January 12th after being cleared by the independent neurologist."
The league's in-house network reported, citing an unnamed Browns player, that the team "lied" to try to protect Manziel, who is being investigated by Dallas police on allegations of domestic violence.
Manziel missed the season finale against Pittsburgh and didn't report to a scheduled medical checkup for his head injury on Jan. 3 amid a report he was spotted partying in Las Vegas.
NFL Network reporter Michael Silver said on Twitter that he stands by his report about Manziel, but added, "I regret using that term ('lied')."
The Browns intend to release Manziel next month when the league begins its calendar year.
In other Browns news, eight employees of Pilot Flying J, whose CEO is team owner Jimmy Haslam, were indicted by a federal grand jury over a diesel fuel rebate scheme, including former president Mark Hazelwood. Haslam has not been indicted.
Jurisprudence: Prosecutors are reviewing a police file as they decide whether to charge Bills running back LeSean McCoy in a Philadelphia nightclub brawl that left two off-duty police officers injured. Prosecutors were reviewing the police findings.
Around the league: The Raiders released safety and former USF standout Nate Allen, who played five games last season after signing a four-year, $23 million deal in free agency. … The Titans released safety Michael Griffin after nine seasons. … Falcons owner Arthur Blank is planning surgery for what he says is treatable prostate cancer. … The Rams took more than 56,000 season ticket deposits before closing them for the first season back in Los Angeles.