The Cleveland Browns will be without Deshaun Watson until at least Week 13.
The NFL announced Thursday that they’d reached an agreement with the players association to extend Watson’s suspension to 11 games, in addition to a $5 million fine and mandatory mental health counseling. Watson had previously been suspended six games for allegations of sexual misconduct by 24 women.
Cleveland is expected to turn to Jacoby Brissett to lead the offense through the first half of the season.
The Browns have the 18th most difficult schedule, based on opponent win percentage. Their schedule features seven games against playoff opponents from last season -- five of which fall during Watson’s suspension. In the wake of the initial 6-game suspension, it was reported that the Browns had the easiest schedule through the first six weeks of the season.
Here’s a look at the Browns schedule.
2022 Browns schedule
Week 1: Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers
Week 2: New York Jets vs.Cleveland Browns
Week 3: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 4: Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons
Week 5: Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns
Week 6: New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns
Week 7: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Week 8: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins
Week 11: Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills
Week 12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns
Week 13: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
Week 14: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Week 15: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 16: New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns
Week 17: Cleveland Browns at Washington Commanders
Week 18: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
Who is the Browns starting quarterback?
Jacoby Brissett is the Browns’ presumed starting quarterback, at least during Watson’s suspension.
Since entering the league in 2016, Brissett has played for the Patriots, Colts and Dolphins. He spent the majority of his career in Indianapolis, starting two of his four seasons with the Colts. In his most recent season with the Dolphins, Brissett made 11 appearances -- five starts -- and threw for 1,283 passing yards.
Brissett joined the Browns this past March on a one-year contract.
Further down the depth chart, Cleveland has Joshua Dobbs and Josh Rosen waiting in the wings as backup playcallers.
When will Deshaun Watson be eligible to return from his suspension?
Watson’s suspension now runs through 11 games.
With the Browns having Week 9 off, Watson will be eligible to return to play for their Week 13 matchup against his former team, the Houston Texans, at NRG Stadium. Watson’s last in-game appearance came at this same venue for the Texans’ 2020 season closer.