- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

A week after an inept debut as a starter, Johnny Manziel had his shot at redemption cut short by a hamstring injury.

The rookie quarterback had led Cleveland to a mere field goal when he was hurt late in the first half Sunday during a 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Some fans in Charlotte cheered when they saw Johnny Football go down.

“I was saddened to see the crowd’s response to when he got hurt,” Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said. “It was classless. Anytime when a person gets hurt, you don’t celebrate. I have had that done in my career and it just takes the integrity out of the game.”

Newton has been friends with Manziel for a couple of years. Earlier this week on a conference call with Panthers’ beat reporters, Manziel said he looks up to Newton and thanked him for his support while he battled through off-the-field issues at Texas A&M.;

“For the crowd to respond in that sort of way - we’re better than that,” Newton said.

Manziel and the Browns were blanked last week against Cincinnati. Facing the Panthers this time, he was injured with 1:49 left in the first half when he rolled out to his left and was taken down by linebacker Luke Kuechly and safety Colin Jones. He attempted to get up and then fell back down.

Manziel emerged from the locker room after halftime still in uniform but remained on the bench. Brian Hoyer took over for him with the Browns trailed 10-3.

Meanwhile, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers played most of a 20-3 win over Tampa Bay with a strained left calf. The win put the Packers into the playoffs with at least a wild-card playoff berth.

Rodgers threw for 318 yards and one touchdown and later said: “I’ll be OK for next week. I hurt my calf pretty good, but the training staff helped me kind of get through it.”

Rodgers said he was injured on Green Bay’s second offensive possession.

“It got really tight about halftime. Came in and got a little treatment, it loosened up just a tad, but it was still pretty tight. … I was able to move in short segments in the pocket, which was all I needed to do today.”

Rodgers impressed his teammates and his coach.

“He battled whatever illness he’s had the last couple of days and then goes out and strains his calf the first or second series,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He didn’t want to come out. … Really a gritty performance by Aaron.”

In other injuries, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus had to leave a loss against the Oakland Raiders with a knee injury. He was helped off the field after getting hurt early in the second quarter and did not return.

Dareus has 10 sacks this season and is a major part of Buffalo’s stout defensive line. The Bills led the NFL with 49 sacks going into the game at Oakland.

In St. Louis, Rams rookie cornerback E.J. Gaines was carted away after getting his helmet knocked off in a collision with teammate T.J. McDonald late in the third quarter of a loss to the New York Giants.

Gaines was sidelined with a left shoulder injury earlier in the first quarter, but returned in the second. The Rams were examining him for a concussion after the second injury.

New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was sidelined with a nerve issue.

In Atlanta, the Falcons lost starting defensive backs William Moore, Josh Wilson and Dwight Lowery in a span of four plays late in the third quarter of their win over New Orleans. In the first half, they lost running back Steven Jackson, and the Saints lost running back Pierre Thomas.

Jets center Nick Mangold injured his left ankle in the second quarter of a loss to New England. He was hurt on a 14-yard run by Bilal Powell and carted off the field, surrounded by players of both teams.

The Jets also said wide receiver Percy Harvin left with a rib injury and was out.

In Chicago, Bears defensive end Willie Young will miss the season finale after leaving because of an Achilles tendon injury.

Young was injured during the first drive of the third quarter against the Lions. Coach Marc Trestman said he will not play next week at Minnesota.

It was not clear exactly how he was hurt. He stayed down after Matthew Stafford completed a 14-yard pass to Reggie Bush. Young was helped to the sideline and then taken to the locker room on a cart.

Young, formerly with the Lions, had a career-high 10 sacks in his first season with the Bears.

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