Since Watson was traded to Cleveland in March, the potential suspension had been looming over the team with questions about whether one of the most expensive contracts in NFL history would pay off or whether Watson would be playing at all.
While the dust has yet to settle, with one of his 24 lawsuits still out there, the fans have an opportunity to start focusing on the game and the other 53 players on the roster.
Jacoby Brissett is going to be the starter through November. Watson will be allowed to play in the game at Houston on Dec. 4, 2022, which will be his first appearance during an NFL game since January of 2021. The Texans didn’t play him in the 2021 season because of the outstanding sexual misconduct allegations. The Browns have yet to know what they paid for until Watson can show them whether he can put up numbers as he did in his 2020 season.
Watson finished the 2020 season with 4,823 passing yards, which was the most in the NFL. He also had 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The reps he took in last week’s preseason game against Jacksonville were the closest action he’s seen on the field in a long time, and there was nothing particularly remarkable about it.
But let’s talk about Jacoby Brissett and the other guys on the team.
Brissett played 11 games with five starts in the 2021 season with Miami for 1283 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions.
This will be the most games he has started since 2019. That season he and the Colts won seven of 15 games.
At 29, he’s a veteran. He’s been in the NFL since 2016, and he says that’s why he knows how to be ready, “whenever your number is called.” He’s played for the Patriots during the Tom Brady era, the Colts and the Dolphins.
“I’m excited for the opportunity and ready to go,” he told FOX 8 Friday. He didn’t play in Cleveland’s preseason game against Jacksonville, but he will be playing the final 2 preseason games, with the matchup against the Eagles coming at home Sunday.
“I don’t take it lightly,” he said about the starting job. “I go out there with the mindset that it is a game,” Brissett said of the team practices with the Browns and joint practices this week with the Eagles.
“Doing things with intent,” Brissett said about his leadership style.
Brissett’s likely backup, Joshua Dobbs, will probably get some time on the field Sunday as well. The Browns QB is also a certified rocket scientist, which is just a fun fact.
But the rocket scientist/athlete has NFL experience stepping in at a moment’s notice, playing for the Steelers twice and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“In this league, in this sports world, you don’t take any opportunity for granted,” he told The Athletic.
“I’ve loved my football journey. Every year is really a lifetime of its own in the NFL, and I’ve had tremendous opportunities to meet people and compete. It’s the ultimate competitor’s game and it requires every ounce of focus and work you can give it when you’re a quarterback. So I’m giving my all every day right now to help this team.”
The Browns host the Eagles at FirstEnergy Sunday at 1 p.m.
Here’s the regular season schedule:
- Week 1: Sept. 11 – at Carolina Panthers – 1 p.m.
- Week 2: Sept. 18 – New York Jets – 1 p.m.
- Week 3: Sept. 22 (Thu) – Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:15 p.m.
- Week 4: Oct. 2 – at Atlanta Falcons – 1 p.m.
- Week 5: Oct. 9 – Los Angeles Chargers – 1 p.m.
- Week 6: Oct. 16 – New England Patriots – 1 p.m.
- Week 7: Oct. 23 – at Baltimore Ravens – 1 p.m.
- Week 8: Oct. 31 (Mon) – Cincinnati Bengals – 8:15 p.m.
- Week 9: BYE
- Week 10: Nov. 13 – at Miami Dolphins – 1 p.m.
- Week 11: Nov. 20 – at Buffalo Bills – 1 p.m.
- Week 12: Nov. 27 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1 p.m. on FOX
Here are the remaining games with Watson potentially on the active roster.
- Week 13: Dec. 4 – at Houston Texans – 1 p.m.
- Week 14: Dec. 11 – at Cincinnati Bengals – 1 p.m.
- Week 15: Dec. 18 – Baltimore Ravens – TBD
- Week 16: Dec. 24 (Sat) – New Orleans Saints – 1 p.m.
- Week 17: Jan. 1 – at Washington Commanders – 1 p.m. on FOX
- Week 18: Jan 8 – at Pittsburgh Steelers – TBD