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Browns' Deshaun Watson Won't Play in Remainder of Preseason, Kevin Stefanski Says

Adam WellsAugust 18, 2022

Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Now that the Cleveland Browns know how long they will be without quarterback Deshaun Watson, their focus for the rest of the preseason appears to be on getting Jacoby Brissett ready to start in Week 1.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters Thursday that Watson won't play in the final two preseason games.

The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to a settlement that sees Watson suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Watson faced 25 civil lawsuits from women who accused him of sexual assault or sexual misconduct during massages. He has settled 23 of the cases, while one woman dropped her lawsuit because of privacy concerns.

He can practice with the team until his suspension takes effect Aug. 30, and he can resume practicing Nov. 14.

Watson will be eligible to play Dec. 4 when the Browns play the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston.

The Browns had Watson start their preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday. He played their first three offensive series, finishing 1-of-5 for seven yards. It was his first game action since Jan. 3, 2021, when he was with the Texans.

Brissett didn't appear in the 24-13 win over the Jaguars. Several of the Browns' projected starters also sat out, including Amari Cooper, Greg Newsome II, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, John Johnson III, Joel Bitonio, Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett.

Stefanski has not announced who will start at quarterback in Sunday's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Browns will wrap up their exhibition season Aug. 27 against the Chicago Bears.

Cleveland signed Brissett in March to give the team a backup quarterback with starting experience. The 29-year-old has started 37 games and has posted a 14-23 record, and he has 7,742 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for his career.

The Browns will take on the Carolina Panthers in a road game at Bank of America Stadium in Week 1 of the regular season Sept. 11.

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