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News & Notes: Deshaun Watson returns to practice

Watson practiced with teammates for the first time since training camp


For the first time since training camp, Deshaun Watson was out on the practice fields at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus throwing passes to his actual teammates.

Watson was able to return to practice Wednesday in accordance to the guidelines of his 11-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. He's been in the building since Oct. 10 and has been allowed to participate in meetings and meet individually with coaches, and he'll now be able to practice with the team as his first Browns start on Dec. 4 in Houston nears.

The Browns face a couple pertinent questions when it comes to Watson's workload: Will first-team snaps be shared between Jacoby Brissett and Watson? How will plans change at all as the Texans game approaches?

Head coach Kevin Stefanski will keep those answers internal.

"I'm not going to get into the reps he's getting," he said. "It's going to be good to have him out there at practice with his teammates."

But Stefanski did make it clear that the primary focus will stay on Brissett for the next two weeks.

"(Watson) will be out there in practice, but Jacoby is starting," Stefanski said. "He's going to put everything he has into this game like he does each week. His preparation is not changing. My preparation with him is not changing. It's just a matter of finding the right amount."

Stefanski believes Watson will be able to rebuild rapport with receivers quickly due to the reps he took in training camp. Watson spent ample time with the first team offense during spring practices and camp.

"That was a big part of our offseason and the spring and the summer, getting Deshaun reps," Stefanski said. "I think you bank those reps. I think he has a lot of reps he can rely on and then can watch the tape of running plays he'll be asked to run when it's time for him to play."

For the time being, however, the prime focus at QB will stay on Brissett, who will be under center for two crucial games that could decide whether the Browns are still in the playoff chase by the time Watson returns. At 3-6, Cleveland has to win at least one, if not both games against Buffalo and Tampa Bay to keep playoff hopes alive.

Watson's time with the offense will come, but the top focus is still on Brissett.

"The most important thing is getting ready for Buffalo and getting Jacoby ready to play," Stefanski said.

Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the Buffalo Bills

Got Snow?

The biggest storyline heading into Sunday's game against Buffalo has been the weather forecast.

A possibly historic snowstorm is set to hit parts of Northwest New York from Thursday through Sunday and could leave at least 2-3 feet of snow in the Buffalo area. currently projects an 80 percent chance of snow in Buffalo on Sunday, although the storm could be over by kickoff.

The Browns are ready to embrace the powder, if needed.

"I never had a snow game, even though I have been in Cleveland for five years," RB Nick Chubb said. "It's a little bit of excitement in there."

QB Jacoby Brissett has played in the snow in Buffalo before. In 2017, Brissett attempted to pilot the Colts offense through whiteout conditions at Highmark Stadium. The Bills prevailed, 13-7, in overtime, but for Brissett, any experience in the snow should be useful for what could be ahead Sunday.

"Jacoby played in a whiteout in this stadium in 2017, so he's used to it," Stefanski said. "(Offensive coordinator) Alex Van Pelt is on staff. He played there for many years. The guys are prepared for if that's what it ends up being, but (we) can't spend too much time worrying about that. Just on the front end, put together a plan and ready to pivot on the moment if need be."

Injury Updates

TE David Njoku didn't practice Wednesday as he continues to recover from an ankle injury he suffered in Week 7.

LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (knee) and RG Wyatt Teller (calf), however, did practice. Owusu-Koramoah also hasn't played since Week 7, while Teller started last Sunday against the Dolphins but exited in the first quarter. He missed two games due to the calf injury before Week 10.

Stefanski didn't have any big updates for any of the players.

"I think with those guys in particular but with anybody, they just got to keep progressing," he said. "I think both those guys are progressing. I'm hopeful on both of them. JOK is going to practice today. David is not. I think if they keep responding to treatment and keep responding to the rest, I'm hopeful in them."

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