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Deshaun Watson returns to Browns' 53-man roster

Watson rejoins the Browns as they look to keep building momentum for a playoff push


Deshaun Watson is officially the Browns' starting quarterback.

The Browns returned Watson to the active roster on Monday following the end of his 11-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. To make room for Watson, the Browns waived QB Joshua Dobbs.

Watson, a sixth-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowler, is expected to start Sunday's game against the Texans in Houston.

Watson was one of the most prolific passers in the league prior to his last start in 2020 and entered 2022 having recorded the highest completion percentage in NFL history (67.8 percent) among all players with at least 1,500 passing attempts. He also became the first player in NFL history to record consecutive seasons (2018-19) with at least 25 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns and was the first player in NFL history to surpass 10,000 career passing yards and 1,000 career rushing yards in his first 40 games.

Watson led the league with 4,823 passing yards in 2020. 

The Browns are looking for a playoff push with Watson now under center and are in position to build one after their 23-17 overtime win over the Buccaneers on Sunday. At 4-7, the Browns still have a thin margin of error to keep their playoff hopes alive but believe Watson can provide an additional spark to help them win games.

"Deshaun is going to come in and be Deshaun," wide receiver Amari Cooper said Sunday. "We've seen that greatness on display a multitude of times. You kind of are who you are — it's not like he's just gonna deviate from being that great player. We see it all the time, even when he's on the practice field. You practice how you play. So can't wait for him to get back, can't wait to practice with him. Can't wait to catch some balls from him."

Watson has been able to practice with the Browns since Nov. 14 and has been allowed inside CrossCountry Mortgage Campus to work out with the team's training staff, attend meetings and meet individually with coaches since Oct. 10. 

In addition to returning Watson to the active roster, the Browns signed OT Myron Cunningham to the practice squad, placed OT Will Holden on squad/injured and released WR Chester Rogers from the practice squad.