joe montana sets expectations deshaun watsons

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Hall of Famer Joe Montana has set realistic expectations for Deshaun Watson’s regular-season debut for the Cleveland Browns.

“Guys are used to getting hurt and missing a number of games, and it’ll take a while, even in practice, to get used to things,” Montana explained while speaking with Ryan Gaydos of Fox News. “But he’ll jump in the saddle fairly quick. Obviously with a different team, so that’ll take a little bit of adjusting also at the same time.” 

Watson hasn’t appeared in a meaningful NFL game since he started for the Houston Texans on January 3, 2021. He sat through the following campaign after an offseason trade request before Cleveland acquired him from Houston this past March. The 27-year-old was then suspended for the first 11 games of the ongoing season regarding allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.

Watson has been eligible to practice with the Browns since Nov. 16 and was reinstated on Monday.

“But how well will he perform? I put my money that he’d be average, maybe a little bit better (than average) than what he’s normally playing at just because, no matter what you really do in practice and how physically you stay in shape or do the things you need to do, there’s nothing like the real-time game stuff,” Montana added about Watson. “And it’ll take him a little bit. I don’t think it’ll take him too long to get back in the swing, but it’ll take a game or two.”

As noted by ESPN, Watson completed one of five pass attempts for seven yards in his one and only preseason appearance with Cleveland this past August. The three-time Pro Bowl selection finished the 2020 regular season first in the NFL with 4,823 passing yards and second among qualified players with a 112.4 passer rating. In 16 games, he threw 33 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. 

Watson and the 4-7 Browns will encounter a uniquely hostile environment when they play at the 1-9-1 Texans this Sunday. 

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