Brian Hoyer took over at quarterback and finished with 134 yards on 7 of 13 passing with one touchdown and one interception. The scoring pass was an 81-yard bomb to tight end Jordan Cameron that put the Browns ahead 13-10 in the fourth quarter. The Panthers, however, emerged with a 17-13 victory. Manziel emerged after halftime with a towel over his head.
Panthers safety Colin Jones hit Manziel by the sideline on a designed quarterback run. Manziel got up and headed back toward the huddle but quickly fell back down. Trainers examined his hamstring for a few minutes on the field and a few minutes on the sideline before taking him into the locker room for halftime.
Manziel said he first hurt himself on a play from the previous drive, a third-and-1 slant route to Josh Gordon that was reviewed and overturned. Manziel fell on the throw and "felt a little tight in my hamstring" when he got up. The injury worsened after the first-down run on the next series.
"As I kept walking more and more, it just felt like something I hadn't experienced before," said Manziel, who completed 3 of 8 passes for 32 yards, looking more comfortable than the previous week despite the pedestrian stats. "I figured I needed to get checked out. Pretty frustrating."
Manziel is considered questionable for Sunday's finale against Baltimore. Coach Mike Pettine said after the loss he wasn't sure of the severity of the injury.
For the season, Manziel is 18 of 35 passing for 143 yards and a rushing touchdown and two interceptions. Manziel said he felt the offense was progressing Sunday and "there was nothing catastrophic" from the offense as far as turnovers, which plagued the team in last week's 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Manziel continued to use the word "frustrating" in his postgame news conference.
"I felt I put in two really good weeks of practice," Manziel said. "I want to be out there with those guys."
Manziel called the last two weeks as a starter "a very good thing for me."
"I want to be the guy," Manziel said. "That's what I want to do."
The Bank of America Stadium crowd let out a few cheers after Manziel fell to the ground after his last play. Apparently Panthers quarterback Cam Newton heard them and didn't approve, calling such gestures from the home crowd "classless."
"We don't celebrate (that)," Newton said.