Quarterback Jacoby Brissett will try to keep Cleveland afloat while Deshaun Watson serves an 11-game suspension. Ron Schwane/Associated Press

BEREA, Ohio — As Jacoby Brissett sat at a nearby table patiently waiting for his turn at the podium Friday, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah wrapped up his interview session with some strong praise for his veteran teammate.

During chats sitting in front of their side-by-side lockers, Owusu-Koramoah has learned about life and football from Brissett.

“He’s the guy that we look to for that elder wisdom,” said Owusu-Koramoah. “The shaman.”

The Browns are going to need more than just knowledge from Brissett.

With Deshaun Watson’s suspension now official and slated for 11 games, Brissett, who has spent his NFL career as a fill-in quarterback, will try to keep Cleveland’s promising season afloat. Brissett signed a one-year contract as a free agent with Cleveland in March – one day after the team traded for Watson – knowing there was a strong chance he would begin the season as the starter.

However, it wasn’t until Thursday, when Watson agreed to a settlement with the NFL to sit 11 games and pay $5 million for allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by two dozen women, that Brissett knew for how long.


Whether it was six games or 17, Brissett vowed to be ready and now he’s being called upon.

The Browns are placing their trust in Brissett, who has made 37 career starts with New England (2), Indianapolis (30) and Miami (5), to keep them competitive in the AFC North before Watson is eligible to return in late November.

It’s a tough ask for the 29-year-old, who is just 14-23 as a starter. But his teammates are confident he can handle it, and owner Jimmy Haslam, General Manager Andrew Berry and Coach Kevin Stefanski all offered their support after Watson’s suspension became known.

“I got to go out there and prove that every day, right?” Brissett said of the belief in him. “I’m just excited for the opportunity. I don’t take it lightly.”

Brissett made his debut as a rookie with the Patriots earlier than planned after Tom Brady was suspended for “Deflategate” in 2016 and Jimmy Garoppolo was injured. The next season with the Colts, Brissett was thrust into the lineup when Andrew Luck suffered a season-ending injury.

And in 2019, he became Indy’s starter by default following Luck’s surprising retirement.


“It’s just given me experience in these situations,” Brissett said. “That’s been the key, and since I’ve gotten in the league it’s shown me how fast this league is in being the next man up and being ready whenever your number is called.”

GIANTS: Coach Brian Daboll isn’t going to be the one to reveal why Daniel Jones required neck surgery this winter. He grew agitated Friday when quizzed about the “non-football related procedure” that Jones had acknowledged for the first time on Thursday.

Daboll said he wasn’t concerned about Jones’ health now, but he wouldn’t confirm or deny whether Jones had endured some sort of trauma that prompted the procedure.

“I’m not gonna get into Daniel’s – Daniel talked yesterday about Daniel’s injury,” Daboll said. “That’s Daniel’s personal (life).”

Daboll was asked why he used the word ‘injury.’ He clarified that he’d misspoken and raised his voice, making clear he was done with that line of questioning.

“Not an injury,” Daboll said. “Whatever Daniel said yesterday, you guys ask Daniel.”


Jones said Thursday that his neck feels great and that the surgery had nothing to do with the neck strain that ended his 2021 NFL season early.

• The Giants have been hit hard by a run of injuries for the team’s centers and Daboll said the Giants will not have starter Jon Feliciano (strained muscle) and backups Ben Bredeson (elbow), Garrett McGhin (strained muscle), Jamil Douglas (ankle) and Shane Lemieux (foot) when they host Cincinnati on Sunday night.

The injuries will force Max Garcia, who had been running with the first team at left guard, to move to center. The Giants signed offensive lineman Chris Owens and brought back guard Josh Rivas, who was waived on Sunday. Owens is an undrafted rookie who played both tackle and center for Alabama last season.

BUCCANEERS: Coach Todd Bowles isn’t willing to pull back the curtain and reveal Tom Brady’s whereabouts, but he confirmed Friday that he knows the exact date the quarterback will return to the Bucs.

Bowles also attempted to quell fears of Bucs fans that Brady may decide to retire again.

“Do I look worried?” Bowles said, smiling broadly. “I’m not worried, so I don’t know why anyone else would be worried. I know exactly when Tom is coming back, and I’ve consistently said it would be sometime after the Titans game (on Saturday).”

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