Johnny Manziel is about to make his first pro football start since 2015 ... and the woman he credits with saving his life is opening up on his battle back to the field.
TMZ Sports spoke with Bre Tiesi -- Johnny's wife -- on the eve of his first career start for the Montreal Alouettes ... and she admits that there were some dark days on the path to Johnny's sobriety ... and she questioned whether this day would ever come.
"It was just one of those things where it's like, 'Are we ever gonna get out of this?' Like, 'Are you gonna pull it together?'"
"Since day one, honestly. Since Johnny started getting better, he always gave a shout-out with love for that. And, same with the rest of the team and other people he's worked with and like, the guys. Everybody's shown their support the whole time and it means a lot."
"So, it's really exciting because I know everyone's watching and he can't wait to get in there."