Thursday, November 16, 2023
The Cleveland Browns confirmed on Wednesday that their franchise quarterback will undergo surgery to fix a fracture, potentially ending the season, following an MRI on Monday that indicated the quarterback suffered a displaced fracture of the glenoid in his right shoulder.
Watson requires emergency surgery, the team's doctors concluded, in order to prevent more structural damage.
"I'm still in disbelief. I'm still trying to process all the information," Watson said. "I felt like we were turning a corner to really make a run and still believe we still will with the guys in this locker room. I just wanted to physically be a part of it. ... It's tough to try to wrap everything around my head right now."
Watson, who will be on injured reserve, is expected to return for the 2024 season and hopes to throw again in two to three months.
Meanwhile, Browns rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson will start at quarterback against the Steelers on Sunday, according to coach Kevin Stefanski.
"I want to give him a week where he knows he's the starter and gets a full week of preparation," Stefanski said.
Thompson-Robinson made his first career start in Week 4 after Watson was inactive due to a rotator cuff strain which forced him to miss four games this season, ESPN reported.
Thompson-Robinson completed 19 of 36 passes for 121 yards and threw three interceptions in the 28-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The rookie will start over PJ Walker, who has thrown for 618 yards, one touchdown, and five interceptions in five games.
Watson revealed that he knew something was wrong with his shoulder during the first half of Sunday's come-from-behind win over the Ravens but kept playing through it.
"The whole second half was painful to throw a football," Watson said. "I was just pushing through whatever I was feeling."
The 28-year-old quarterback played his best game in a Browns uniform on Sunday, completing all 14 pass attempts in the second half and leading Cleveland on a winning field goal drive to defeat Baltimore 33-31.
Despite suffering a left high ankle sprain, Watson pushed to continue playing but doctors warned it could worsen the injury.
Browns general manager Andrew Berry said the shoulder fracture was unrelated to his rotator cuff strain and that there was a "pretty clear medical recommendation" for Watson to have surgery.
"We are very disappointed and devastated for Deshaun," Berry said, "especially given all that he has battled and gone through medically this season."