Johnny Football could soon be playing football.
Memphis Express general manager Will Lewis would not rule out playing Johnny Manziel in his first game with the AAF team Sunday against the Birmingham Iron (8 p.m. ET, NFL Network).
Manziel — cut late last month by the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL for violating his contract — was signed Saturday by the Express, which would make it a very quick turnaround for him to see action, but Memphis is in a peculiar position.
The team is on its third quarterback as Christian Hackenberg was benched, Zach Mettenberger suffered an injury and Brandon Silvers saw action Mettenberger’s replacement.
“In most cases when you get into a situation like this, you have to figure out how familiar the new guy is with what (offensive system) you’re running,” Lewis said, via the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “And that’s part of the initial conversations and more conversations that will take place.
“(But) going back to what he ran at Texas A&M and comparing that to the concepts we run here, there’s a good amount of familiarity, which leads you to believe you can put together a package or two for him where he’d be comfortable.”
The Express have the worst record in the AAF at 1-5 and come into the matchup with the Iron (4-2) scoring just 15 points per game while averaging 239 total yards.
Memphis offensive coordinator David Lee spent several years in the SEC with Arkansas and Ole Miss and more in the NFL with the Bills, Dolphins, Jets and Cowboys.
While Lewis wouldn’t rule out playing Manziel, he also said he doesn’t plan on rushing him.
“I think you can give him some things he can execute at a good level,” he said. “But you don’t want to throw him out there before he is ready just because people want to see him. I think there was some of that in Canada. So you want to make sure he’s prepared and set up for success.”