What did the Browns say about Deshaun Watson starting against the Jaguars?
Despite facing a six-game regular-season ban that could yet be extended to the entire NFL season, Watson will see action in the Bowns-Jaguars matchup.
The fate of Deshaun Watson is still up in the air with the Cleveland Browns quarterback facing sexual harassment allegations that could yet lead to a lengthier ban than the six-game regular season sanction already in place. The matter is to be reviewed by a former New Jersy state attorney after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL will seek a full-year suspension for Watson. In the meantime, the Browns want to take advantage of every opportunity they have to get their quarterback back into game shape ahead of the new season, even if Watson will be unable to play the start of the 2022 NFL regular season.
On Wednesday, the Browns confirmed that Watson will be the starter for the first preseason game on Friday 12 August against the Jaguars.
Should Watson see action in Jacksonville, it will be his first appearance since the end of the 2020 season. The Clemson alum did not play last season due to the sexual harassment lawsuits he faced.
As a result of the accusations, the NFL investigated and subsequently decided on a sanction, through independent investigator Sue L. Robinson, of six games.
The league appealed the decision seeking a one-year ban and former judge Peter C. Harvey was selected by Goodell to review Watson’s case. Harvey has the option to revoke, maintain or increase the QB’s suspension and his decision will not be subject to appeal.
What is Cleveland’s back-up plan?
During the Browns' training camps, Watson and Jacoby Brissett have shared time with the starting offense. If Harvey upholds the suspension, Brissett is expected to be Cleveland's starter.
Brissett, 29, has previously played for the Patriots, Colts and Dolphins. In six years as a professional, he has clocked up 37 starts (14-23), 727 completions, 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.