Deshaun Watson plans to start in the team’s first preseason game unless the NFL announces his suspension beforehand.
On Wednesday, the Browns announced the decision which raised some eyebrows considering he’s currently facing a long suspension from the NFL.
#Browns say Deshaun Watson is expected to start Friday night's preseason opener in Jacksonville. Most starters will play but some will be held out.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) August 10, 2022
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believes the Browns are forcing the NFL to make a decision on Watson’s status before Friday.
By announcing that Deshaun Watson will start on Friday night, the Browns are basically asking Peter Harvey to suspend or get off the pot. https://t.co/nnVh3kQlEG
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 10, 2022
With speculation rampant that appeals officer Peter Harvey may suspend Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson indefinitely before Friday night, blocking him from playing in the preseason opener at Jacksonville, the Browns made a compelling chess move.
They announced on Wednesday that Watson will start the Week One preseason game.
It left zero doubt about Cleveland’s plans, even though the team had no obligation to tell anyone what they intend to do. And it feels like an effort by the Browns to dare Harvey to act sooner than later, so that the Browns will be able to plan accordingly.
No matter what happens, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is ready for whatever comes his way.
“I am confident in our plan,” Stefanski said. “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.”