Deshaun Watson out for season as Browns QB needs surgery on fractured shoulder

Watson played only six games for the Browns this season. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Watson played only six games for the Browns this season. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Deshaun Watson’s decision to stay in the game and help the Cleveland Browns come back against the Baltimore Ravens came at a cost. The team announced on Wednesday that the quarterback will miss the rest of the 2023 NFL season with a broken bone in his throwing shoulder.

From the Browns:

Deshaun Watson underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Monday on two injuries sustained on different plays in the first half of Sunday’s 33-31 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Imaging on his left ankle revealed a high-ankle sprain. In addition, postgame, Deshaun notified our medical staff of a new discomfort in his right shoulder that he felt after a hit in the first half. An MRI of his right shoulder revealed a displaced fracture to the glenoid.

Despite performing at a high level and finishing the game, after consultation with Browns’ Head Physician, James Voos, MD, and industry-leading shoulder specialist, Neal ElAttrache, MD, it has been determined that this injury will require immediate surgical repair to avoid further structural damage. Deshaun will be placed on season-ending injured reserve and a full recovery is expected for the start of the 2024 season.

Watson stayed in the game after injuring his left ankle in the first half of the team’s 33-31 victory. That proved pivotal, as Watson was unstoppable in the second half — completing all 14 of his passes — and setting Cleveland up for the game-winning field goal as time elapsed.

When Watson departed M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, though, he did so in a boot. Head coach Kevin Stefanski revealed that Watson underwent an MRI to check the severity of the injury, but on Monday didn’t have an update on the findings.

“Right now, I’m not feeling well, but I’ll be fine,” Watson, who taped his ankle at halftime, told reporters.” I’ll be ready to go and ready for that opportunity for us.”

Watson had already missed a month of action after suffering a rotator cuff strain in his right shoulder against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 24. The signal caller briefly returned against the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 22, but re-injured his shoulder and left the contest.

It’s another key injury the Browns will have to overcome. They’ve stayed in the playoff hunt despite losing running back Nick Chubb or offensive lineman Jack Conklin for the season. They’re 6-3, holding on the sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture and will now have to continue on without Watson.

P.J. Walker, who has played five games this season, is expected to step into the No. 1 role with rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson serving as backup.

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