The Cleveland Browns don’t want Deshaun Watson heading into Week 1 of the regular season as their starter at quarterback still dealing with rust.
That’s why he’ll start against the Washington Commanders in a preseason game Friday night.
Watson said so himself Wednesday when addressing the media, per Cleveland.com.
“Just kind of getting myself back into a routine to get ready for the season,” Watson said.
It’s unclear just how long head coach Kevin Stefanski wants Watson out there, but he certainly wants to make sure Watson feels comfortable enough when the games count in September.
Watson played just nine preseason snaps last year because Stefanski wanted to make sure Jacoby Brissett had the offense down while Watson was suspended 11 games to start the year.
Watson missed the entire 2021 season after requesting a trade from the Houston Texans while sexual harassment allegations against him were surfacing.
Watson looked rusty in his return in 2023.
In six games, Watson threw for 1,102 yards with a 58.2 completion percentage, which would’ve been the lowest of his career if he played a full season. He threw for seven touchdowns and five interceptions, while rushing for 175 yards and one score.
Cleveland invested a lot in Watson, signing him to a $230 million guaranteed deal to make him their franchise quarterback.
Can he return to the three-time Pro Bowler with the Texans? The Browns hope so and will use the preseason to work out the kinks.