Cleveland Browns Factor No. 1 – Watson Factor
Until Deshaun Watson is back and can be even a shell of his old self, he’s going to continue to be a huge storyline. Watson practiced on both Wednesday and Thursday but was non-committal on whether he would be suiting up for the game on Sunday.
Most who were at practice shared that Watson has a different zip on the ball compared to when he returned to practice before the Colts game. Watson appears to have no limitations on his throwing motion, and the big question will be if the organization gives them the green light.
The next three weeks for the Browns are vs. the Cardinals, at the Ravens, and then vs. the Steelers. If you want to win the division you need to go 3-0, but if you want a legitimate shot at the playoffs and control your own destiny, you still must find a way to go 2-1.
I personally love the idea of Watson coming back for an easier week vs. the Cardinals. You can somewhat limit the playbook and you should still be able to come away with a win and get more from Watson than you would PJ Walker. I think if he sets out another week and then returns vs. the Ravens, you could be sitting him up for failure.
Not only are the Ravens a top-notch defense, but they thrive on uncomfortable quarterbacks which is what Watson will likely be after missing multiple weeks in a row once again.
The good news is, that the Browns can win this game without Watson if that is truly the best decision for his injury and the progression of getting healthy. I do hope that they factor in the situation of who they are playing though.