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Browns QB Deshaun Watson (shoulder) 'confident' he will be ready for Week 1 of 2024 season

Deshaun Watson recently expressed optimism when talking recently about his recovery process with his shoulder.

On Thursday, he took it a step further with a promise he'll be ready for Week 1 of the 2024 season.

"I'll be better than I was before in Week 1," Watson told reporters Thursday, via Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I'm very confident in the roles of the doctors. Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache and his team, following their lead, just all the research that I've done. And then just my work and preparation. I've put my whole life into this, I want to make sure I come back even better than before."

Watson's tenure with the Browns has failed to meet the sky-high expectations that came with the massive trade the team completed with Houston to bring him to Cleveland in 2022, but he started to show signs he might flirt with such hopes in 2023. His efforts in a comeback win over the Ravens in Baltimore left Browns fans feeling better than ever about their quarterback, only to be disappointed when it was revealed Watson had suffered a season-ending glenoid fracture in his throwing shoulder.

While Joe Flacco eventually took the Browns to the playoffs, Watson retreated to Los Angeles, where he underwent surgery and has since been rehabbing the shoulder. Due to the timing of the injury -- occurring in the middle of the 2023 season -- Watson has been afforded plenty of runway to get right. And as the calendar turns to April, Watson has felt good enough to not only express confidence, but also essentially guarantee he'll be ready.

If so, the next checkpoint will arrive when Watson throws for the first time, be it in minicamp or actual training camp. He'll need to prove he hasn't lost anything in his shoulder before he can start striving to reach his newly stated expectation of being "better than I was before."

If that proves to be true, Browns fans will happily buckle up for another season that depends heavily on their quarterback.

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