Jacoby Brissett would always start in Week 1 for the Browns once Deshaun Watson was suspended, but the length of his potential run as a starter became official Thursday Watson and the NFL agreed to an 11-game suspension.
That means until Watson returns to the Week 13 game against the Texans in Houston, it will fall on Brissett to keep the Browns competitive.
Brissett is no stranger to starting. He has 37 career starts (14-23 record), most recently a 2-3 record with the Dolphins last season. But he’s poised for another breakthrough in 2022. The Browns signed him after trading for Watson.
He said he’s “excited” to start, per ESPN, and it’s something he “doesn’t take lightly.”
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Brissett’s teammates seem almost more enthusiastic about having him in the middle.
“I mean, he’s the guy we’re looking for for this ancient wisdom,” Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah said Friday, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. “He’s like one of what they call… the shaman. He’s got the… he’s got the wisdom that we’re all trying to get. But no, he’s a great guy.”
Other Browns seem excited to have Brissett on the field.
“I can’t really worry about what outsiders say,” said new wide receiver Amari Cooper. “We know Jacoby, we understand what he brings to the table, we see him train every day, see how hard he works, so we believe in him 100 per cent. He wouldn’t be back if we didn’t. We don’t worry about what outsiders say. We just go out and do our job.”
That’s all good talk, but the reality is the Browns lack options. After Brissett on the depth chart, they have Joshua Dobbs and Josh Rosen, so Brissett is in a “need to work out” position.
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Brown’s 2022 schedule
Deshaun Watson’s anticipated Browns debut in bold.
|Week||date||Opponent||kick off time||TV|
|1||11 Sep||at panthers||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|2||18 Sept||against jets||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|3||22 Sept||vs. Steelers (Thursday)||8:15 p.m. ET||Amazon Prime Video|
|4||2 Oct||at falcons||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|5||9 Oct||against chargers||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|6||16 Oct||against patriots||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|7||23 Oct||at ravens||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|8th||31 Oct||vs. Bengal (Monday)||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|10||Nov 13||at dolphins||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|11||Nov 20||with invoices||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|12||Nov 27||against privateers||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|13||4 Dec||at Texans||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|14||11 Dec||at Bengal||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|fifteen||17th/18th dec||against ravens||open||open|
|16||24th of December||vs Saints (Saturday)||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|17||January 1st||at commanders||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|18||7th/8th January||at Steeler||open||open|
Cleveland has a chance to play significant games in December. The AFC North looks like a boom-or-bust division and the Browns will have their share of winnable games early in the season. They play against underperforming opponents in the Panthers, Jets and Falcons for the first six weeks.
That being said, Brissett is a viable bridge quarterback, but he’s yet to have a .500-plus season as a starter. Maybe this is the year. His teammates definitely have faith in him. But the Browns have a high hill to climb in the meantime.