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ESPN insider on suspended Browns QB Deshaun Watson playing in preseason: 'What's the point?'

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 8/11/2022 Zac Wassink, Yardbarker
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson

Until further notice, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will get the start for Friday's preseason opener at the Jacksonville Jaguars over backup Jacoby Brissett. 

NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson recommended a six-game suspension for Watson regarding numerous allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions, but the nature of that punishment makes him eligible for training-camp practices and exhibition contests. 

If Robinson's ruling sticks, Watson will make his official Browns debut at the division-rival Baltimore Ravens in Week 7 on Oct. 23. That reality has at least one analyst strongly suggesting Watson should sit through the preseason. 

On Thursday's edition of the "Get Up" program, former player and current ESPN personality Damien Woody argued against Watson facing any live defenses this month. 

"What's the point? I mean, what's really the point of Deshaun Watson playing in the preseason games? 'Oh, I'm gonna play him so he's gonna be ready to play Week 7?' That, to me, makes absolutely no sense when you've got the backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett that you obviously have to get ready," Woody explained. 

The Browns also have journeyman Joshua Dobbs and former first-round draft pick Josh Rosen on the depth chart beneath Watson. 

"On top of that, we know in this league, all it takes is one hit...so the third-string quarterback needs to get reps just in case some type of injury happens to Jacoby Brissett," Woody continued. "I know (Watson) is the new shiny toy with the Cleveland Browns, but to me, it just doesn't make any sense to have him out there." 

Woody's take ultimately may not matter when all is said and done. The NFL asked appeals officer and former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to suspend Watson through at least the entire season via a decision that would prevent the three-time Pro Bowl selection from playing even in preseason games. Harvey eventually ruling in favor of the NFL has been called a "slam dunk" by one knowledgeable source, and it's thought Watson could receive an indefinite ban that would require him to apply for reinstatement next year. 

A Thursday report linked the Browns with San Francisco 49ers veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo but only if Watson's punishment "significantly increases" from six games. 

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