Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson returned to the practice field on Wednesday, the first time he's participated in organized team activities since his 11-game suspension was announced in August.
Despite all of the off-field issues, Watson is still an elite quarterback when playing between the hash marks. And that was quite clear to the Browns players and staff present at his return to practice.
Several members of the team showered the former Clemson product with praise.
Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt mentioned Watson threw in "an opportunity period" after Wednesday's official practice. His praise was simple, but effective. "Impressive stuff," said Van Pelt.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper joined in on the hype train, and according to team insider Zac Jackson, described Watson as "displaying greatness" multiples times in his comments.
There's no denying Watson's on-field abilities. He earned three Pro Bowl nominees in his four NFL seasons, leading the league with 4,823 passing yards in 2020 and a boasting a career 104.4 quarterback rating. By comparison, Patrick Mahomes has a career 105.8 rating.
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