Deshaun Watson may not be with the Cleveland Browns but the embattled quarterback is still putting in work in preparation for his return.
Ahead of the Browns Thursday night matchup against the Steelers, Watson took to Instagram with a post from one of his workout sessions with his quarterback coach Quincy Avery. Watson appeared to be working out in the Ohio area at Mercy Health Stadium, home of the Lake Erie Crushers.
“The work comes first,” Watson said in a caption on the post.
Watson is two games into an 11-game suspension that was part of a settlement with the NFL. He also paid a fine of $5 million and is undergoing treatment as part of the deal. He won’t be allowed back into the Browns’ facilities until October 10.
“I can’t speak on the fairness. I only can control what I can control, and that is throughout this process, the NFL did what they had to do and the NFLPA communicated with the legal side,” Watson said in August following the settlement. “Like I said before, I’m focused on being out here and being the best teammate and football player and quarterback that I can for the Cleveland Browns, and I let the legal side handle their side.”
Watson had been radio silent since leaving the team prior to the start of the regular season, outside of a post celebrating the Week 1 win against the Panthers.
Brissett Making Strides at Quarterback
The Browns traded for Watson this offseason, knowing he’d likely miss some time after he was accused by more than two-dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage sessions. The team was quick to sign Jacoby Brissett to be his backup, bringing in the veteran QB on a one-year deal.
The Browns are looking to keep the ship afloat with Watson out and have a chance to move to 2-1 on Thursday against the Steelers. Cleveland had a shot to go 2-0 out of the gate for the first time in nearly 30 years, but melted down late, allowing the Jets to mount a massive comeback in the final two minutes.
The silver lining in the loss to the Jets is that Brissett looked improved from Week 1, showing more rhythm with Amari Cooper. Brissett completed 81.5% of his passes for 229 yards and a touchdown to Cooper. His interception came on a last-gasp drive with just seconds remaining.
“I thought we did a lot of good things well and moving forward toward what we want this offense to look like,” Brissett said on Tuesday. “Each week is totally different, and we only have to score one more point than the other team. That is just the mindset. However that comes, we are up for the challenge. This week proposes another challenge. Looking forward to it.”
Browns Make Roster Moves Ahead of Steelers Matchup
The Browns made some roster moves ahead of Thursday’s matchup with the Steelers, elevating two pass-catching targets in receiver Chester Rogers and tight end Miller Forristall.
Rogers is a sixth-year player from Grambling State. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016 with the Colts. Over the course of Rogers’ career, he proved to be a reliable set of hands. He has caught 141 passes for 1,522 yards and six touchdowns in 69 career games, 24 of those being starts. He’s also expected to play a role in the return game for the Browns.
Forristall has been around the Browns practice squad since last season and played in a pair of games last year. The Browns placed recently signed veteran TE Jesse James on IR, opening the door for Forristall to be on the active roster. He played most of his snaps on special teams.