Deshaun Watson's decision to stay in Sunday's game and help the Cleveland Browns come back against the Baltimore Ravens came at a cost. The team announced Wednesday the quarterback will miss the rest of the season with a broken bone in his throwing shoulder.
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.
"The whole second half was painful to throw a football," Watson said Wednesday. "I was just pushing through whatever I was feeling."
"He was already playing with a high ankle sprain," Browns general manager Andrew Barry said Wednesday. "For Deshaun to play two-and-a-half quarters at a really high level with this [shoulder] injury ... really an incredible display of physical and mental toughness."
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 very tough," Watson said. "Hurt about it."
"I'm still in disbelief. I'm still trying to process all the information. 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."
It's another key injury the Browns will have to overcome. They've stayed in the playoff hunt despite losing running back Nick Chubb and offensive lineman Jack Conklin for the season. They're 6-3, holding onto the sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture and will now have to continue without Watson.
Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson will step into the No. 1 role and start Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. P.J. Walker, who has played five games this season, will serve as backup.
"Obviously have a ton of faith in that room," Barry said. "[We're] always open to anything that helps improve the team. We do believe in carrying three QBs between the active and practice squad, so we will add one in the near future."