3 Dark Horse Deshaun Watson Replacements After Injury

With the Browns desperate to salvage their year following Deshaun Watson's season-ending surgery, Cleveland should try to convince one of these dark horses to save the day.

Tom Brady is one of three dark horses that could fill the role of Deshaun Watson's replacement.
Tom Brady is one of three dark horses that could fill the role of Deshaun Watson's replacement. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Matt Ryan

One dark horse candidate who hasn't ruled out an NFL return is none other than Matt Ryan.

The former Boston College product has spent the 2023 campaign as a CBS analyst but told SiriusXM NFL Radio back in May that he'd be open to a comeback if the stars aligned. He even added that he's learned to "not shut any doors" after spending 15 years in the league.

""You never know what's going to happen in [the NFL]. Anything could shake out, and so we'll see what happens.""

Matt Ryan on an NFL comeback

If Ryan is still open to the idea six months later, the Browns need to be blowing up his phone right now. The 38-year-old likely has more juice left in the tank than most available options, having just averaged 254.8 passing yards with the Colts in 2022 — ninth-most in the NFL for a QB with at least 12 starts.

And even though his performance last year was far from his best, you can chalk that up to Indy's entire offensive scheme being a disaster. With Cleveland possessing a strong O-line and pass-catchers, the Exton, PA native would have all the tools he needs for success.

Considering how a Super Bowl title also eluded Ryan throughout his career, it's clear that an agreement with the Browns would be mutually beneficial.

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