The game marks a different fever pitch between two of the NFL’s most historic fan bases.
Redskins fans come into tonight’s contest with tempered expectations after the team has failed to make the playoffs the past three seasons.
Washington selected quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, and pass-rush specialist, Montez Sweat both in the first round of last April’s draft. Still, the excitement over the two talented young players is in a wait-and-see mode with most Redskins fans.
Cleveland, on the other hand, has the expectations of their fans the highest they have been in over three decades.
Mayfield, along with WR’s Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway, RB Nick Chubb, and tight end David Njoku already possessed enough explosive playmakers last year. Now with the additions of Beckham and Hunt, the Browns are a team that has a tormented fan base hopeful of a postseason run.
Although the Redskins two most notable rookie selections mentioned play into the teams long term success, the duo may not get a full workload in the preseason opener.
Sweat has been dealing with a lower leg injury sustained in training camp and could be kept out of tonight’s game as a precautionary measure although the injury (calf) isn’t expected to cost him any significant playing time especially when the regular season starts.
Haskins should play tonight but the amount of time has not been made public. He is battling veteran’s Colt McCoy and Case Keenum for the right to lead the Redskins. It’s widely expected that his opportunity to do so will not take place until later in the regular season.
There is optimism underneath the hood for Redskins fans heading into the sixth campaign under coach Jay Gruden, but most will wait and see how the players perform under the bright lights and into the regular season before they fully invest in believing this year will be different.