The first preseason game for the 2022 Cleveland Browns is in the books. What are some of the key takeaways that will affect this roster for the rest of the preseason?
The Cleveland Browns exit preseason week one with a 24 to 13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. For fans, they are seeing some of their favorite players in action for the first time since last year. Fans are also getting their first chance to see new players and rookies in brown and orange for the first time. It is a moment that many have been waiting all summer for. As with any game, there is a lot to analyze. Let us look at the top five takeaways from Cleveland Browns preseason week one.
Nick Harris Injury
It was not a great way to start the first drive of a season. Nick Harris went down with a right knee injury. We are still waiting for word on the severity of the injury, but Harris was taken off the field on a cart which is never a good sign. The next man up at the center position would be Ethan Pocic or seventh-round pick Dawson Deaton. Andrew Berry was not drafting Deaton back in March with plans to have him starting by Week One. An interesting note is that former Brown and last year’s starting center, J.C. Tretter, remains a free agent. His previous contract paid him almost $11 million a year, and as luck would have it, the Cleveland Browns currently possess about $46 million in cap space.
Deshaun Watson Debut
Deshaun Watson was met in Jacksonville with a chorus of boos as the first-team offense took the field. Something that Browns fans should get used to during away games this season. The new Browns quarterback was seeing his first live-action since the end of the 2020 season. Watson ended up going 1 for 5 for 70 yards. Anthony Schwartz was responsible for three of those incompletions. Despite the lack of production, Watson looked fluid navigating the pocket, and his arm didn’t look like it lost any talent.
Anthony Schwartz Rough Start
Anthony Schwartz had an extremely lackluster rookie campaign, which is continuing into his sophomore season. Schwartz suffered a knee injury during training camp last week, so it was nice to see him healthy on the field. His first target was either a miscommunication with Watson or he simply ran his route too shallow because he was wide open around the left hash mark. He followed that up with a pair of drops before being pulled off the field. This isn’t the type of performance you want to see for a player that already has the word roster bubble being floated around.
Jerome Ford Promising Star
In more promising news, rookie running back Jerome Ford had an excellent game. Ford was able to accumulate 57 yards on only ten carries on the ground. This included a long run of 41 yards. Through the air, he had five targets which he converted into four receptions and 45 yards. The cherry on top was two scores. One touchdown on the ground and another as a pass catcher. The young player out of Cinncinati has a real nose for the endzone and will make a great addition to the running back room in 2022 and beyond.
Martin Emerson Jr Coming Out Party
All the rookies got in on the scoring action. Martin Emerson got the nod to start the game and put on an impressive performance. The night’s highlight for the rookie was an absolute bully-ball interception against Jaguars backup C.J. Beathard. He could strip it out of the receiver’s hands and take it 74 yards for the touchdown. On top of this, he was able to account for three solo tackles as well. It was a very excellent performance for a player who may be competing for the second corner position on this defense this year.
Next week the Cleveland Browns have a matchup with the Eagles. It will be the first game in Cleveland since the end of the 2021 season. Fans will be in the stands, and the energy will be through the roof, as is expected for the DawgPound. Hopefully, news of Nick Harris comes back as positive. Whichever way the information falls, BrownsBrawl will have you covered with all of the latest analyses.
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