The day after getting run off the field by the Miami Dolphins, the Cleveland Browns can welcome QB Deshaun Watson back to practice. While Watson has been allowed back in the building for some limited meetings and activities, the Collective Bargaining Agreement allows him to practice the two weeks prior to returning to play on the field.
For the Browns, Watson presents hope for the future while the hope for this season falls by the wayside.
The next two weeks will be interesting for head coach Kevin Stefanski and the team. While Watson can return to practice this week, he won’t start until Week 13 against the Houston Texans. Between now and then, Stefanski and the team need to prepare for the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Jacoby Brissett as the starter.
The balancing act, which we won’t see much of but players and coaches will be questioned about, will be interesting. Watson is the team’s long-term but any glimmer of hope that his 2022 season will be meaningful hinges on Brissett pulling out victories the next two weeks.
For now, Watson will likely be used with the scout team to prepare the defense for Josh Allen and Tom Brady. Very soon, the Browns will need him to be at the same level as those two top-flight quarterbacks.