Browns Make Final Call on Deshaun Watson’s Starting Status Against Jets

Deshaun Watson

Getty Quarterback Deshaun Watson stands on the field with head coach Kevin Stefanski of the Cleveland Browns.

Deshaun Watson will not be on the field when the Cleveland Browns kickoff their preseason slate against the New York Jets, with the team opting to start Kellen Mond.

The Browns are taking on the Jets in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game on Thursday, which is an extra contest on their schedule for the preseason. The Browns will give both Watson and his primary backup Joshua Dobbs some rest while Mond and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson lead the offense.

The Browns claimed Mond off waivers after final roster cut downs last August and he stuck around for the entire year despite not being active. Mond is a former third-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings and has seen no notable time under center in the NFL. He made one appearance with the Vikings, going just 2-of-3 for 5 yards.

That being said, Mond has been able to make an impression on the coaching staff during his stay in Cleveland.

“I think Kellen’s done a great job,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said on Tuesday. “There was a period of just getting to know him early in the season last year. So he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. I’ve been very impressed with him both in the meeting room and on the practice field. And the fun part for our players, as you know, is to play these games. So I think Kellen’s excited about the opportunity.”

Kellen Mond Needs Big Preseason to Stick Around With Browns

Mond’s spot with the Browns is very much at risk after the team drafted Thompson-Robinson in the fifth round. The former UCLA quarterback is an intriguing prospect because of his athleticism and wealth of starting experience. Thompson-Robinson started 48 games with the Bruins. In his final year, he completed 69.6 percent of his passes for 3,169 yards and 27 touchdowns, adding 12 touchdowns on the ground.

Thompson-Robinson is raw as a passer but is a dynamic athlete and someone the Browns view as a solid prospect to backup Watson in the future.

“Just looking for him to operate and really take an extension of what he’s been doing here on the practice field,” Stefanski said. “Dorian, obviously in his experience at UCLA, it’s a little bit different with how we operate. He’s done great, but certainly part of the plan for him is to make sure that when he’s in there we’re getting in and out of the huddle, we’re getting the lot of scrimmage, making your run checks, it will all be great reps for him.”

Browns Can Keep 3 Quarterbacks Active on Game Day

Thanks to a new rule, the Browns can keep three quarterbacks active on game day without taking up an active roster spot. The third QB can only play if the first two quarterbacks or injured or disqualified.

That makes the battle between Mond and Thompson-Robinson a little more important than in year’s past.

Dobbs also expecting to be inactive also shows that the Browns are comfortable rolling with him as the second option behind Watson. He was the darling of the preseason a year ago, completing 35 of 53 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments