It's safe to say the Cleveland Browns' quarterback situation is a mess right now. Deshaun Watson's seemingly minor shoulder injury led to a multi-game absence, and his return in Week 7 was short-lived after an early hit caused Kevin Stefanski to pull his franchise QB.
Now Watson's status for Week 8 is clouded, which unfortunately keeps the status quo going at quarterback. However, things could potentially get even messier in the coming days thanks to P.J. Walker's contract.
Browns Quarterback News
Watson's injury troubles have resulted in the Browns promoting backup P.J. Walker from the practice squad three times already this season. That means he's already maxed out his available elevations, so simply putting him back on the PS is no longer an easy task.
Instead, Cleveland is faced with a difficult choice. It can either sign Walker to the active 53-man roster or release him and hope he clears waivers. Each comes with its own pros and cons, making no path obvious.
The Browns could certainly elect to sign Walker and not take any risks. However, the team would then be spending three roster spots on QBs after previously only carrying two (Watson and Dorian Thompson-Robinson), which means parting with an extra depth player at another position.
Plus, it's worth wondering if Walker has done enough to truly supplant DTR as the clear top QB2. He's made a few plays, but it feels like Cleveland has mostly won in spite of his efforts, which include no touchdown passes and four total turnovers (3 INTs, 1 fumble) across two appearances.
Stefanski himself didn't even make any public comments in support of Walker being signed to the active roster when asked on Monday.
The other option is releasing Walker, which would then subject him to waivers and give the other 31 teams a chance to claim him. This is a big gamble, as anyone can pick Walker up if they need a backup. The vet could also be claimed by an AFC North rival or upcoming opponent simply to hurt the Browns.
If he does clear, though, Walker can then be re-signed to the practice squad. That would give Cleveland a reserve option while weighing its backup depth.
Whatever route the team takes, this decision definitely adds some extra QB drama ahead of Week 8.
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