Kevin Stefanski Explains Browns' Deshaun Watson Preseason Decision

Adam Taylor McKillop
Kevin Stefanski explains the Browns' decision to start Deshaun Watson in Cleveland's preseason opener.
Kevin Stefanski explains the Browns' decision to start Deshaun Watson in Cleveland's preseason opener. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson hasn't played a live down of NFL football in 1.5 years, dating back to Week 17 of his 2020 season with the Houston Texans. That lengthy streak will come to an end of Friday night, as the Browns revealed Watson will start their preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Starting quarterbacks usually don't get much play in the preseason, especially in Week 1. Head coach Kevin Stefanski recently weighed in on the team's decision-making process.

Deshaun Watson Browns Preseason

Although he was not entirely specific, the Browns have a clear-cut plan to manage their quarterback room as the team awaits a final decision on Watson's suspension. He's currently suspended for six games, although the NFL appealed this decision in order to seek a lengthier punishment.

Browns News

That leaves the Browns with a lot of decisions up in the air. When will Watson's suspension begin? Will he be eligible for Week 1 of the regular season? Will he be able to play at all during the 2022-23 campaign?

Either way, the Browns have a plan. Stefanski didn't go into details, but had this to say about the decision to start Watson.

"I am confident in our plan. Obviously, we will adjust based on information. I am comfortable in what Jacoby has done to date with his reps. He has gotten a lot of them. He has gotten some with the ones and some with the twos, and we will stick to our plan absent any new information."

Kevin Stefanski

It sounds like Stefanski is comfortable with backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett's preparation up to this point, and the preseason is simply an opportunity for Watson to shake off some rust after a lengthy absence.

The Browns enter their preseason clash with the Jaguars as -120 moneyline favorites, according to NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.