Former Browns Quarterback Catches on With AFC Rival

Dobbs, Watson, Brissett

Getty Joshua Dobbs #15, Deshaun Watson #4 and Jacoby Brissett #7 of the Cleveland Browns warm up during the Cleveland Browns OTAs at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on May 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns‘ best preseason quarterback, who hasn’t been with the team since late November, just joined the active roster of a playoff contender.

The AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans (7-7) added former Browns signal caller Josh Dobbs on Wednesday, December 21, in the wake of questions over the health of starter Ryan Tannehill. The Browns parted ways with Dobbs upon the return of Deshaun Watson from his 11-game suspension, choosing second-year player Kellen Mond over Dobbs as the team’s third quarterback behind Jacoby Brissett.

Cleveland’s intention was to sign Dobbs back to its practice squad, but he eventually landed on the practice squad of the Detroit Lions. Dobbs remained there for three weeks before the Titans came calling Wednesday.

Dobbs Could Start First Game of NFL Career in Titans’ Playoff Hunt

Joshua Dobbs

Getty ImagesQuarterback Josh Dobbs, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, joined the active roster of the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday, December 21, 2022.

After ping-ponging across the NFL this season, Dobbs is one injury away from seeing his first regular season action since 2020 when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“There’s definitely pessimism in Tennessee about quarterback Ryan Tannehill for this week. Tannehill on Sunday re-injured the right ankle that cost him time earlier this season, and he didn’t practice Tuesday in advance of Saturday’s game against the Texans,” Dan Graziano of ESPN reported Wednesday. “The Titans believe backup Malik Willis has made consistent progress in practice throughout the year, and they believe they would see an improved version of him if he has to play.”

“It has become a pretty important game for the Titans, who have lost their past four games in a row and seen their lead in the AFC South shrink to one game over the surging Jacksonville Jaguars,” Graziano continued.

If Tannehill is unable to go, Dobbs will be Willis’ backup and arguably closer to meaningful regular season minutes than he has ever been since first joining the NFL in 2018.

Watson’s Struggles Continue as Browns Push For Playoff Berth

Browns QB Deshaun Watson

GettyQuarterback Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns looks on during the first half of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

While Dobbs gets nearer to his first real shot in Tennessee, Watson is working to find his former Pro-Bowl stride after three starts with the Browns.

Cleveland is 2-1 in Watson’s first three games back after 700 days on the sidelines due to off-field issues and a subsequent suspension from the NFL. Despite the team success over that stretch, Watson and the offense have struggled.

The Browns have scored 50 points over those three games, an average of just below 17 points per outing. Cleveland’s best scoring output was Watson’s first game back, posting 27 points in a win over the Houston Texans. However, the offense was responsible for just two fields goals, as the defense and special teams accounted for all three touchdowns.

The Browns scored 10 points and 13 points over their next two games, a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and a win over the Baltimore Ravens without quarterback Lamar Jackson, respectively. Watson has completed 56-of-92 passes for 568 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions across those three contests, per Pro Football Reference. He has also rushed the ball 19 times for 76 yards.

Cleveland is currently 6-8 and will host the New Orleans Saints on Saturday before finishing the season on the road against both the Washington Commanders and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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