Cleveland Browns final 53-man roster projection for 2022: Brissett in line to start at QB

If the Browns don't make another quarterback trade, they will turn to Brissett to keep their playoff hopes alive until Deshaun Watson returns. AP Photo/David Dermer, File

The Cleveland Browns open the 2022 season at the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 11 at Bank of America Stadium.

And Jacoby Brissett -- not Deshaun Watson -- is in line to be the starter at quarterback for that game.

On Aug. 18, the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed on a disciplinary settlement for Watson, who will serve an 11-game suspension and pay a $5 million fine after he was accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage sessions. Watson will return in Week 13 against his former team, the Houston Texans.

Provided they don't make another quarterback trade, the Browns will be turning to Brissett to keep their playoff hopes alive until Watson returns.

It is a challenge he doesn't "take lightly," Brissett said after the Watson settlement news.

The roster will be cut to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Here is a projection:

QUARTERBACK (2): Jacoby Brissett, Josh Dobbs

The onus has now fallen on Brissett to keep Cleveland above water and in the playoff hunt until Watson returns. Cleveland could still explore the possibility of bringing in Jimmy Garoppolo, especially once Jimmy G is released. But as of now, the plan is to move forward with Brissett.