Browns Break Silence on Deshaun Watson’s Impending Return

Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns

Getty Images Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns have been functioning without Deshaun Watson in the building for the start of the season but the embattled quarterback will be back starting next week.

Watson won’t be able to practice with the team until November 14 as he continues to serve out his 11-game suspension. Watson’s official return date is slated for December 4 and will take place against his former team, the Houston Texans.

While Watson still has some time before he returns to action, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is looking forward to having his future QB1 around.

“I haven’t talked to him since the day he walked out of the building so looking forward to seeing him,” Stefanski said on October 7. “It will be great to get him back in the building.”

Stefanski and the rest of the staff were unable to have contact with Watson due to league rules, so the quarterback has been working out and doing analysis of the Browns’ 2-2 start on his own.

It will take some time for Watson to knock off the rust, which was fairly visible in his only preseason action against the Jaguars. He played just three possessions without many of the team’s starters but notched just seven yards on 1 of 5 passing.

Watson did not play a snap last season with the Texans as his legal case unfolded. However, his potential as a franchise quarterback is well-documented. Prior to sitting out, he had a trio of Pro Bowl seasons, including a career-year in 2020, when he passed for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

When he takes the field against the Texans, it will be 700 days since Watson’s last regular season action.


Jacoby Brissett ‘Not Hiding’ Ahead of Chargers Game


Alex Van Pelt: "Excited to play our brand of football on Sunday" | Press ConferenceAlex Van Pelt addresses the media on October 6th, 2022. #BrownsMedia #PressConference2022-10-06T17:50:08Z

The Browns are looking to remain above the .500 mark as they take on the Chargers on Sunday. Brissett played beyond expectations early on and was effective, but his play has been uneven at times, with some late-game interceptions proving costly.

“I think the first thing is the accountability. He is not hiding from anything,” offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said. “He understands he has to play better in those situations, the ones you mentioned, and I know he will moving forward. I don’t ever worry about Jacoby.”

The Browns signed Brissett shortly after executing the blockbuster trade for Watson with the clear expectation that he would be seeing some action. He’s recorded 830 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions through four games, completing 64.6% of his passes.


Browns Looking to Get Amari Cooper More Involved

The Browns also working in a new No. 1 wide receiver in Amari Cooper, who has had two great games to go with a pair of duds. Against the Falcons, Cooper had just one catch for 9 yards. In the two games prior he had combined for 16 grabs and 202 yards.

“Obviously, from my perspective, I just want to help the team win in whatever way,” Cooper told reporters on Thursday. “But sometimes the ball don’t always come your way. Sometimes the games go by really fast. Sometimes the games go by really slow. It just all really depends on how the flow of the game is going. Obviously, the coaches, they know the personnel we have — pass catchers, guys who carry and run the ball.”

With Cooper’s production lacking, Donovan Peoples-Jones saw a larger workload, catching five passes on nine targets for 71 yards. That performance came after he caught just one pass in the two weeks prior, so the Browns will be looking for a more even performance overall from their receivers.

The run game is the bread and butter for the Browns with Nick Chubb leading the way, but the Chargers have the ability to put up points and Cleveland will need to see some improvement through the air.

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