Will Deshaun Watson play against the Jaguars on Friday despite the pending suspension?
The Cleveland Browns will open their preseason slate on Friday night. Deshaun Watson is facing a suspension from the NFL, but is still eligible to play.
The first week of preseason is a matter of hours away and one of the top stories coming into this year is still not resolved. Deshaun Watson will be suspended, but the length of the suspension has not yet been determined after the NFL’s appeal. He will be allowed to play in the preseason, but will the Browns give him snaps?
Six game suspension appealed
The Cleveland Browns quarterback was originally suspended for six games by judge Sue L. Robinson after being accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct by 24 women who claim he exposed himself during message therapy sessions from 2019 to 2021.
Twenty three of the lawsuits have settled, but Watson still faces at least a six game suspension that was decided upon by judge Robinson last week. The NFL, and commissioner Roger Goodell, are pushing for a lengthier suspension after the decision was appealed by the league. There have been talks of Watson even missing the whole season, and the commissioner is one the biggest proponents of the year long suspension.
Despite the suspension, Watson can still participate in training camp, and preseason. He can play in each of the Browns three preseason games, but once the third game comes to a close, Watson will be banned from practicing and team facilities for at least the first six games, perhaps more.
Brissett has most experience after Watson
Watson is allowed to play, but will he play? That’s the dilemma for Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski. He knows he will be without the three time Pro Bowler until Week 7 at the earliest. If the suspension holds at six games then getting Watson snaps will be important considering he hasn’t played in an NFL game since January of 2021. If he is suspended for the whole season, then it wouldn’t make much sense to take snaps away from the other quarterbacks who are going to play this season.
No matter the length of the suspension, Stefanski will want to have Jacoby Brissett, Joshua Dobbs and Josh Rosen ready for Week 1. Brissett is the only Browns QB to have played a starting role for an NFL team for more than one season. He played for Indianapolis was their starter for a couple seasons. Last year in Miami he started five games while Tua Tagovailoa was injured. Rosen started 13 games his rookie season, but has since faded from the spotlight. Joshua Dobbs has attempted 17 passes in his NFL career.
Stefanski keeping plan hushed
Those three quarterbacks should get the majority of the snaps in the first game of the preseason. While Stefanski hasn’t said much about how much each quarterback will play, or if Watson will even play. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says he doesn’t have a plan, but it looks like well have to wait until kickoff to find out.
The Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars will meet on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. from TIAA Bank Field.