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Browns quietly brace for eight-game Deshaun Watson suspension

If the reasonably expected range of punishment for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson does indeed fall in the range of two to eight games, the team that employs him currently is expecting the higher end of things.

Per a league source, the Browns privately are bracing for an eight-game suspension of Watson.

That obviously doesn’t mean anything as to the eventual outcome. It only means that the team has come to the subjective conclusion, one it would never admit publicly, that it expects to not have Watson for eight of 17 games in 2022.

The next question becomes whether they’d fully entrust the starting job to Jacoby Brissett for those eight games, or whether they’ll try to acquire someone else.

There’s apparently some chatter about the possibility of the Browns adding Cam Newton, in the event that Watson isn’t available for the full season. Would Newton be an option for half of the season? Would he be the backup to Brissett or the starter?

There are plenty of questions that will need to be answered regarding the Browns’ plans for playing without Watson. The first answer that needs to arrive will be the specific number of games, if any, that he’ll miss.