3 Big storylines heading into Cleveland Browns first preseason game

Browns, Deshaun Watson
Browns, Deshaun Watson /
3 of 3
Browns, Jacoby Brissett /

Browns Storyline No. 1: How will the reps be divvied up at Quarterback?

This is the main storyline to watch. How could it not be?

With so much up in the air when it comes to Deshaun Watson’s suspension status, how will the Browns approach divvying up playing time between the quarterbacks on their roster?

On one hand, the Browns need to get Watson some work given all of the down time the quarterback has endured over the last year and a half, but will they only play Watson behind the starting offensive line? That factor will limit his live action as much as anything. The exact same question can be used for Brissett as well, given his status as the placeholding starter in Watson’s inevitable absence.

Cleveland has to find a way to get Brissett meaningful work with the starting unit while also managing his exposure to ensure his health. Although the coaching staff has managed to balance their reps in practice, there is nothing that can simulate live bullet-flying action other than game reps. It’s possible that the Browns give each a series or two and then lean heavily on next week’s joint practices with the Eagles to get Watson and Brissett primed for the season.

In either case, expect Josh Dobbs to see the lions’ share of the reps in the second half in Jacksonville. Will the Browns even attempt to get Josh Rosen on the field, or will they just push the Rosen experiment off until next week?

There’s also a very real scenario where the league announces the outcome of their appeal in the Watson case between now and Friday’s kickoff and it completely alters the Browns plans. But on the bright side at least there is never a dull moment if you’re a fan of the Browns.

Next. 3 Cleveland Browns players to watch in Preseason Week 1. dark