Cleveland Browns fans have witnessed some shocking play from Jacoby Brissett so far in three games. The term ‘shocking’ is used with a positive connotation here, as the Browns should realistically be 3-0 if not for a total defensive meltdown in Week 2 against the New York Jets.
The team is 2-1 under Brissett and the veteran quarterback is outperforming expectations. He most recently went 21/31 for 220 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday night’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
So what happens if the team keeps winning with him under center when Deshaun Watson is clear to come back in Week 13? Could the $230 million man ride the bench as his team fights for a playoff berth?
Deshaun Watson is going to leap Jacoby Brissett as soon as he can
The answer is no. Deshaun Watson is going to get his job back as soon as he is eligible in Week 13 against the Houston Texans.
That is true whether the team is 2-9 or 10-1. He was brought in to be the franchise quarterback and everyone up to ownership has gone on record defending his character amid serious legal allegations.
There is a legitimate concern to be had if the team is thriving under Jacoby Brissett when Watson comes back. This is a player surrounded by controversy, which may be a problem among some of his teammates.
He has also not played regularly since the 2020 season, which could mean he is rusty and playing with a higher risk of injury.
However, the plan has always been Deshaun Watson and there was no revolt in the team when he played during the preseason. The only difference in Week 13 may come if he’s not playing up to par and the team loses one or two games right away with him back.
On paper, Watson remains a top quarterback in the NFL. He can run and pass effectively and also owns the most lucrative deal in league history. If he is healthy and eligible, he is expected to play and do so at an elite level.
So where does this leave Brissett? Well, he showed up knowing the circumstances and is a veteran who has often spent time in a backup role. Heading to the bench in Week 13, no matter the record, will not come as a surprise to him.
If anything, being benched while he’s playing well can be a blessing in disguise to boost his value this offseason.
It is fun to speculate about hypotheticals and what could happen with the Browns and Watson. But it is important to remember the reality and what will actually happen later this season.
For now, fans are hoping the great play from Jacoby Brissett continues. If it does not, Deshaun Watson can come back and save the day. And if it does, Watson will return fresh and ready to earn a postseason berth. That is a win-win for the Browns, looked at from all angles.