Watson Injury/Out For the Year: Is the Browns Season Over?

November 16, 2023

Andy Billman

3 Things Around the Aftermath of the Watson Injury

1 – Unbelievable

On Wednesday, it was announced that starting quarterback Deshaun Watson will be out for the season. He has a broken bone in his throwing shoulder and will need surgery, which is set for next week. 

The comeback made by Watson against the Ravens now seems more unbelievable after the announcement of his injury (he also is dealing with a high ankle sprain). 

After all the twists and turns of the 2023 Cleveland Browns season, this announcement is a gut punch. It is not ideal for the Browns to move forward without their starting quarterback and best offensive player, Nick Chubb.

With Watson out once again, there will be a lot of chatter on whether this was the correct decision to pull the trade with Houston.  There will also be a lot of discussion of Watson’s ability to play an entire season in 2024.  The Browns will have to evaluate the backup quarterback situation in the offseason, speaking of that….

2 – DTR

In a surprising move, the team has decided to start rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson instead of PJ Walker on Sunday.  

On the surface, this is going to get a lot of blowback from the masses on why not go with the veteran starter in Walker, who has more experience and with the poor performance of DTR in his first start, it makes this decision a high-risk one, especially for GM Andrew Berry

With DTR starting, Berry is putting his knowledge and scouting ability on the line to say that the rookie from UCLA gives the Cleveland Browns the best chance to win against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.  Talk about risk.  

I understand why they are going with DTR with the chance of a high reward for his talent and intelligence, which Berry was touting to the press.  DTR did play well in the preseason, and there’s a lot of praise on Wednesday about how he has improved in practice and with scouting.  Also, Walker has not wowed at any moment, so there is an element of Walker probably can’t do any better, and in fact, it might go bad as he is turnover-prone.  

I would have gone with Walker this week while playing the Steelers, but fingers and toes will be crossed with our 5th-round rookie QB making the start.

3 – Stefanski

If there is one plus, it is that Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has experienced a similar season in 2020 with injuries and players out, his best season to date record-wise in Cleveland.

With the loss of Watson, his one-game-at-a-time approach is a must at this time and will be a big help.

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