Browns Release Quarterback Ahead of Deshaun Watson’s Return

Joshua Dobbs

Getty Images Joshua Dobbs of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns have released quarterback Joshua Dobbs to make room for Deshaun Watson on the active roster.

Dobbs had an impressive preseason and earned the backup role to Brissett for the first 11 games with Watson sidelined. In three appearances in the preseason, Dobbs combined to complete 35 of 53 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Dobbs should land a gig somewhere, if not on the Browns’ practice squad after making an impression during his time in Cleveland, albeit none of it during the regular season. Kellen Mond — who the Browns scooped up off the waiver wire after he was released by the Vikings during final cuts — will be the third QB on the roster.

“Honestly, I can’t say we knew with a certainty that [Dobbs] would come in and perform this way, but from the spring until now, he’s taken ahold of the reins and really just gotten better every day,” Browns VP of player personnel Glenn Cook told reporters on September 1. “So credit to him, honestly, for coming in and doing so well.”

In some other minor moves, the Browns signed offensive tackle Myron Cunningham to the practice squad, placed offensive tackle Will Holden on squad/injured and released receiver Chester Rogers from the practice squad.

Watson Expected to Make First Start Against Texans

Watson is expected to start on Sunday against the Texans, which will be his first regular-season action since the 2020 season. He’s been practicing with the team and there are high expectations as he takes the reins at QB.

“Deshaun is going to come in and be Deshaun,” wide receiver Amari Cooper said Sunday. “We’ve seen that greatness on display a multitude of times. You kind of are who you are — it’s not like he’s just gonna deviate from being that great player. We see it all the time, even when he’s on the practice field. You practice how you play. So can’t wait for him to get back, can’t wait to practice with him. Can’t wait to catch some balls from him.”

Watson’s resume is top-tier, which is why the Browns made the trade this offseason, sending three first-round draft picks and three other picks to the Texans in exchange for Watson and a sixth-rounder. They also gave Watson a fully-guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract.

Watson led the league with 4,823 passing yards in 2020 and has made the Pro Bowl three times. His presence should spark a Browns offense that has struggled to find consistent success.

Jacoby Brissett Shifts to Backup Role for Browns

With Watson back, Brissett will shift to the backup role after starting the first 11 games of the season. He finished his time as the Browns starter with a 4-7 record, exceeding expectations after being thrust into a tough situation.

He went out on a high note, leading the Browns to an overtime victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

“I’m really happy for Jacoby, he’s a great leader,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He battled like crazy. It was a great effort by him.”

Brissett passed for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions in his 11 starts. While his time as the starter is over, Brissett still plans to make an impact with his leadership in the locker room, which has been lauded by his teammates.

“I still have a job to do. I’m still on the team,” Brissett said. “I will figure that out when the time comes, but I still have to be the same person every day no matter my situation or status. I think that is what makes me me. I am excited for him to come back. Looking forward to next week.”

The Browns are a touchdown favorite against the 1-win Texans with Watson back.

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