The Cleveland Browns trotted out a trio of quarterbacks on Friday night in their preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The lone holdout was Jacoby Brissett - but that is all about to change for the seventh-year veteran.
On Saturday, head coach Kevin Stefanski said that Brissett will begin receiving the majority of the practice reps with the starting offense on Sunday as the Browns prepare to open the regular season without quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is still facing a suspension by the NFL for violations of the league’s personal conduct policy (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“Yes, and that has been the plan really from the beginning is just to at some point let Jacoby get the majority of them, still work Deshaun, still work (QB) Josh Dobbs and still work (QB) Josh Rosen, but Jacoby will get the majority starting this block.”
While this was likely Stefanski’s plan all along, it is still one of the first times - maybe the first? - that the head coach has made this type of move that is directly caused by Watson’s ongoing situation with the league office.
Brissett has been in a situation like this before as 30 of his 37 career starts in the NFL came during his time with the Indianapolis Colts. Brissett started 15 games in both the 2017 and 2019 seasons as he had to step in for starting quarterback Andrew Luck, first when Luck missed the 2017 season with an injury and then when Luck retired before the 2019 season.
It has also been more than likely that Watson would face some form of punishment from the league, so Stefanski has had the entire offseason and opening weeks of training camp to work Brissett into the mix with the starters, as he said on Saturday (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“Jacoby has gotten a lot of reps to date. I go back to the nine-week offseason program and in the weeks we have been together, he has gotten a ton of reps with the ones and with the twos. Even the way we structure our routes versus air and individual period, he has gotten a lot of reps with the quote-unquote ones and the twos. He will keep on that same process and making sure he is running the show when he is in there. He does a nice job in the quarterback meeting room with those guys so I just think this is also the natural progression for him moving forward.”
It is Jacoby Brissett’s time when the Browns take the practice field on Sunday at 3:10 p.m. at team headquarters in Berea.
How long it stays that way is up to Brissett and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.