This rollercoaster Cleveland Browns season has been defined by Deshaun Watson's injury saga. A lingering shoulder injury has lasted over a month and cost him three games (plus most of a fourth), but Watson finally appeared to be over the injury after playing in the Browns' last two games.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, Watson's injury drama has taken a shocking turn.
Deshaun Watson Injury Update
The Browns announced on Wednesday morning that Watson will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a broken bone in his throwing shoulder.
This is absolutely stunning news for Cleveland fans, as Watson finally appeared to be trending in the right direction. He was coming off back-to-back wins and just had one of his best performances with the Browns so far, leading them to a wild 33-31 comeback victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10.
Obviously this is a major blow to Cleveland, which now must navigate the eight games remaining on its schedule (plus any postseason contests) without its top signal-caller. The Browns are currently only a half game behind the Ravens in the AFC North standings at 6-3, but catching Baltimore just became a lot harder.
That said, at least Cleveland has gotten used to life without Watson. Due to injuries and suspension, he's only appeared in 12 of a possible 26 games for the Browns since signing that massive $230 million contract with them prior to the 2022 season. They have a decent backup in P.J. Walker, and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson now moves up to QB2.
The timing is not ideal, however, as the NFL Trade Deadline has already passed. If Cleveland wants an external long-term replacement for Watson, it will need to pick a free agent up off the scrap heap.
The Browns have already made it this far with a hobbled Watson. Time will tell if they can hang on and still make the postseason without him.
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