The Cleveland Browns got an optimistic update on the status of their projected starting quarterback on Thursday, a welcome piece of information for a team with aspirations of winning big this upcoming fall.

The news came during word of a Myles Garrett injury that sounded tough but came with a silver lining. Wideout Amari Cooper skipped minicamp, but got a vote of support from the team's leader Watson.

Watson has a lot of ground to make up after missing most of last season. The latest bit of news bodes well for the ex-Clemson Tigers gunslinger.

Browns' Watson gets key status update 

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, poses for a portrait with general manager Andrew Berry, left, and head coach Kevin Stefanski during Watson's introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility on Friday.

Watson got an update that will make Browns fans, coaches, and fellow players happy to say the least. The information was shared by the Akron Beacon Journal on Thursday.

Watson is returning from shoulder surgery and Stefanski won't be able to watch his progress over this next six weeks-long dead period.

Stefanski sounded optimistic about the plan Watson is putting together.

“Well, it's a dead period, as you know, so we can't direct any of it,” he said. “So, ask Deshaun. “But, yeah, he's got a good plan. Like all of our guys, we talked about it today, establishing a routine, making sure that they're staying healthy, that they're getting their work done, that they're still in their free time.”

Stefanski, a two-time Coach of the Year winner, continued. He said that Watson looked “very normal” to him while watching him throw in recent weeks.

“If they want to do some summer reading, they can crack open that playbook if they want to, of course. But, yeah, he's got a good plan of attack and he's going to get his body ready.”

Watson's prospects for 2024 

Deshaun Watson might not be the player he was before his legal issues and injury concerns, but there is no doubt a certain level of maturity and growth that comes with sitting out for long periods of time that will be on Watson's side.

He's had the opportunity to watch and learn from a former Super Bowl winner in Joe Flacco, giving him new insights on the game that will only benefit him the next time he takes the field as the Browns' unquestioned leader. Expect a big year from Deshaun Watson, Kevin Stefanski and the Browns this season in the wins column.

While Watson likely won't approach the gaudy numbers he put up earlier in his career, he has a running game led by Nick Chubb and the experience necessary to lead the Browns to the mountaintop of the AFC North sooner than most fans realize.