Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will miss the rest of this season after fracturing his right shoulder in Sunday’s win over Baltimore – his signature game in two seasons with Cleveland.
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Watson will undergo surgery to repair the fracture, which happened when he was hit in the first quarter against the Ravens. Watson, who also injured his left ankle, stayed in the game and went 14 of 14 in the second half while leading the Browns to a last-gasp 33-31 win.
“I’m still in disbelief,” Watson told reporters on Wednesday. “I’m trying to process all the information that I’ve been getting since last night. It’s tough, I felt like we were turning a corner to really make a run, and I believe we still will with the guys in this locker room. I just wanted to physically be a part of it.”
The team said the 28-year-old is expected back next season, his third since signing a $230m fully guaranteed contract last year despite allegations of sexual misconduct while he played for Houston that led to him being suspended for 11 games by the NFL. Watson missed games earlier this season with a strained rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. The injury means Watson will have played just 12 games in his first two seasons with the Browns, during which he has been paid more than $90m. He did not play in the 2021 season as he forced his way out of Houston and dealt with the allegations against him.
The Browns said an MRI taken on his shoulder revealed a displaced fracture to the glenoid. The team consulted with noted shoulder specialist Dr Neal ElAttrache before determining its course of action.
The Browns (6-3) host the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) on Sunday and are currently in the playoffs spots in the AFC, mostly due to their strong defense rather than any significant contribution from Watson.
PJ Walker, Watson’s backup, is likely to start against the Steelers. The 28-year-old has one touchdown and five interceptions in his five appearances this season.