The Cleveland Browns have announced that quarterback Deshaun Watson will be sidelined for the rest of the season. According to a statement from the team, Watson will undergo surgery to repair a fracture in his throwing shoulder. Watson reportedly sustained the injury in the first half of the Browns game against the Ravens last weekend. However, the 28-year-old remained in the game, which was also arguably his performance since signing with Cleveland.
Injuries have marred Watson's entire 2023 campaign. He missed four games earlier in the season due to a rotator cuff strain. In the six games he did play, he threw for 1115 yards and 7 touchdowns. His numbers are almost equivalent to his output across the six games he played last season. Overall, it puts an end to what was meant to be Watson's redemption season after starting his Browns career on an 11-game suspension after being accused of sexual harassment and assault by over 20 women.
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Watson-less Browns Turn To Walker
In Watson's absence, the Browns have elevated backup PJ Walker to full-time starter. Walker, who joined the Browns from Carolina in the offseason, has 618 yards, 1 touchdown, and 5 interceptions on the season so far. That means the Browns' high-performance defense will likely be called on even more over the second half of the season. Cleveland's D has been one of the league's best this year and is top-ten in terms of both passing and rushing yards allowed. Myles Garrett is well on his way to a career year, with many pundits already crowning him Defensive Player of the Year.
However, the Browns are 6-3 in one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL this season. They are half a game back of the Ravens and tied for second with the Steelers. Furthermore, the Bengals have completely turned their season around and are only a game back of Pittsburgh and Cleveland. As for the rest of the season, the Browns have a very mixed schedule. They face the aforementioned Steelers and Bengals as well as a surging Texans team. However, they also face ailing opponents in the Bears, Rams, and Jets.
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