The Cleveland Browns have been dealt a devastating blow in their attempts to return to the playoffs. The team’s starting quarterback, Deshaun Watson, needs to undergo shoulder surgery that will rule him out for the remainder of the 2023 season.
According to the Browns’ statement, Watson sustained an ankle and a shoulder injury in the first half of Sunday’s 33-31 win over the divisional rivals Baltimore Ravens. MRI tests on Monday revealed that the 28-year-old player has a high-ankle sprain and a “displaced fracture to the glenoid” in his throwing shoulder.
After consultations with Browns’ medical staff, Watson decided to undergo surgery in order to “avoid further structural damage” on his shoulder. He is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2024 NFL season.
“I’m still in disbelief. I’m still trying to process all the information,” Watson told reporters on Wednesday. “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.”
Deshaun Watson previously experienced issues with his throwing shoulders, being forced to miss four games earlier in the season. In six games he played, the Browns went 5-1, while Watson threw for 1,115 yards, seven touchdowns, and four passes.
In Watson’s absence, the Browns will turn to rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson as their starter. Thompson-Robinson, a fifth-round pick out of UCLA, already has one start as a pro under his belt, filling in for Watson in Week 4 in a 28–3 loss to the Ravens.