When the New York Giants visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, it will mark Eli Manning’s 194th consecutive NFL start, one of the Browns’ five remaining chances to avoid 0-16, and also the first time the Nassib brothers have ever suited up on the same field together.
“I never played with him, never played against him," said Giants backup QB Ryan Nassib said of his younger brother Carl, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound rookie defensive end for Cleveland. "So this will be a first for me being on the same field as him. It’s going to be interesting, but once the game gets started and the ball gets rolling it’s going to be like any other game.”
Of course, for little bro to get a shot at big bro, the Browns are going to have to sideline Manning with a hit or, perhaps more likely given how quickly Manning releases the ball, surrender a 30-something point lead.
"The players probably laughed at me but you guys will know this or not, I don’t know if another NFL player has ever sacked his brother,” said Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton. "That is kind of what our goal is – you talked about 193 for Eli – is to get Eli out of the game and let Ryan come in and see if Carl can maybe, whoever picks up the bill tonight or tomorrow night for dinner, maybe that will give him a little incentive to get after his brother.”
The Giants drafted Ryan out of Syracuse in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft while the Browns nabbed former Nittany Lion Carl at 65 overall (third round) in this past April’s draft. Playing behind Manning is not a role that lends itself to much on-field experience. In his fourth pro season now, Nassib has attempted only 10 passes (9 completions!) in the regular season. Meanwhile Carl has played 335 snaps, recorded six tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Even if they don’t touch the field on the same play, the match-up still made for some interesting, though slightly more time-consuming, film study for Ryan.
“I found myself having to watch every play twice,” he said. “I would first kind of see how Carl was doing and then I’d realize ‘Jeez, I didn’t even watch the play!’ It took me a little longer to get through it, breaking it down, but now I’m back. Now it’s settled in.”