Christopher Smith

Manziel's Status In Doubt This Week

Created on Oct. 23, 2013 1:18 PM EST

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel wore a sling during Monday's practice and threw with his left hand to protect his injured right shoulder, bringing to question whether he'll play Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Manziel got crunched into the ground in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to Auburn, attempting to walk back to the sideline before falling to the turf. After missing the next series, Manziel returned and completed all seven of his pass attempts on the next drive, which ended in a touchdown, but the Aggies lost, 45-41.

"I would list him as hopeful," coach Kevin Sumlin told reporters Tuesday. "That's where he is right now."

Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2) essentially is out of the BCS championship and SEC championship hunts, and with Manziel likely to enter the NFL Draft in April, don't expect the Aggies to rush the defending Heisman winner back on the field unless he's ready.

Manziel did tell a teammate he was "feeling better" on Tuesday.

If Manziel were to miss Saturday's game, he may have just one more SEC game at Kyle Field in his college career (Nov. 9 vs. Mississippi State).

Vanderbilt, which upset Georgia last week to win its first SEC game in four tries this season, becomes a real threat to knock off Texas A&M if the Aggies are forced to start backup Matt Joeckel. Sumlin's bunch has scored between 41 and 49 points in all four of its SEC games this year, but lost two and needed to score 10 points in the final 3:07 to beat Ole Miss by a field goal.

Though his touchdown-to-interception rate is down slightly, Manziel's passing numbers are much improved from his Heisman season as a freshman. He's completing 73.3 percent of his passes on 10.5 yards per attempt, a two-yard jump from last year. His rushing numbers are down from last season, when he finished 22nd in the NCAA in yards on the ground. Manziel ranks 68th this season with 486 rushing yards, behind Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

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