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Andrew Berry feels ‘really good’ about Deshaun Watson being ready for Week 1

BEREA — The Cleveland Browns organization and quarterback Deshaun Watson share optimism and a timeline. Both parties expect him to be ready for the season opener in September.

“We feel really good about it,” general manager Andrew Berry said Thursday at his predraft news conference. “I’m not going to make any predictions, just because you just never know. But that’s certainly our expectation.”

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The team had further reason to be encouraged this week, as Watson threw passes up to 40 yards, according to Berry. He had surgery on the right shoulder Nov. 21 to repair a broken glenoid bone and began throwing in mid-March.

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“He’s in a pretty good spot,” Berry said. “I don’t want to put the cart in front of the horse, but he’s progressing as appropriate. We’re really, really pleased with the work that he’s put in and really pleased with how the shoulder’s responding.

“But we’re still in the middle of a rehab process, so we know that it can take different left and right turns, but we’re pretty optimistic in terms of what we’ve seen so far.”

Watson was adamant earlier this month he’ll be ready for the opener and said Tuesday the recovery remains on track.

“I’m throwing full speed,” he said during the second day of the voluntary offseason program. “When I’m throwing it, everything is fluid and motion is really good. The velocity and the strength is really good.

“I feel really good, very confident in myself.”

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Berry and the Browns medical and athletic training staffs are involved with Watson’s doctor, trainers and quarterbacks coach in determining the details of the rehabilitation plan. Watson said members of his medical team want to take a cautious approach, so he may sit out organized team activities in May and minicamp in June and not practice until training camp in July.

“I think we got to see how these next couple of weeks go,” Watson said. “I know for Dr. (Neal) ElAttrache, he wants to be a little bit more conservative just because it was a joint, the glenoid labrum. So he wants to really make sure that we’re not doing too much, and other experts that was a part of it said the same thing. This is an injury that for spring you want to be a little bit more conservative and this summer get ready for training camp, that’s when there’s going to be a time where we can pick that up. So I think it can go either way for that in the next couple of weeks.”

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Watson, who’s been limited to 12 starts in two years with the Browns, surprised reporters when he said he wasn’t sure when the shoulder bone broke. His final game was a comeback win in Baltimore on Nov. 12, but he said the break “possibly” could’ve happened as early as Sept. 24 vs. the Titans when he took a direct hit to the shoulder. He missed most of the next four games with what was called a rotator cuff strain.

Berry said in November that Watson was “completely healthy” when he returned to the lineup Nov. 5 against the Cardinals and that the broken bone was a “completely new injury” sustained against the Ravens.

“This has nothing to do with what he experienced during the year,” Berry said at the time. “It really was the result of a hit in the second quarter of the game. So this has nothing to do with the previous injury.”

He referred to those comments when asked Thursday about Watson’s uncertainty with the timing.

“I addressed this in the fall. So nothing’s really changed since then,” Berry said.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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