Watson watched as the Browns were pounded by the Baltimore Ravens 28-3, failing to put together any semblance of a functional offense. The Browns finished with just 166 yards of offense and his backup, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, tossed three interceptions.
Watson has been taking some heat after Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski revealed that his quarterback was medically cleared to play by team doctors. It was Watson who decided he was not ready to go.
“He knows his body. He’s played through serious pain before, very, very serious injuries,” Stefanski said on Monday, October 2, confirming Watson was medically cleared to play. “It wasn’t a matter of pain tolerance or anything. He just did not feel like he had his full faculties.”
“The way he played was unbelievable to me with what he went through,” Stefanski said. “He’s the first guy picking his teammates up off the ground, it felt like every single play. So, he was a warrior [Sunday]. It was impressive to watch.”
Deshaun Watson Takes Heat Online Over Decision
The circumstances around Watson’s situation have created some questions, especially considering that it felt that he was on track to play.
“Kevin Stefanski hasn’t disclosed much of anything about injuries in his four years in Cleveland, but he made sure to let everyone know Deshaun Watson was medically cleared to play,” Nick Carns of Network 216 tweeted. “Something is off.”
Others were not so kind with their words on the situation.
“I truly do not understand how your franchise quarterback decides to sit out a division game versus a hated rival and we are battling them for first place?” one fan tweeted. “Truly shows you that he has no heart.”
“Watson is all about himself. Baker would of played,” another fan tweeted. “Watson will never be what Baker was to this team and city.”
Playing through the injury wasn’t great for Mayfield. He struggled mightily and the Browns decided to part ways with him the following offseason.
Extent of Deshaun Watson’ Injury is Unknown
Watson sitting out has a bit of mystery behind it but the truth is that the Browns have been fairly mum on what their quarterback is dealing with. He did not throw all week leading up to the game and didn’t appear to have much juice on his throws when he tested it out pregame.
Watson told CBS’ Evan Washburn that he had some fluid in the shoulder from the bruising, which was reported during the broadcast. The Browns did not confirm that report.
“Just with the medical, I know Deshaun, obviously we talk with the doctors,” Stefanski said. “We structurally feel good about it. He’s going to use this week to rest and continue to get treatment. But yeah, I feel like medically we’re all on the same page.”
The Browns’ offense is already missing two key pieces in star running back Nick Chubb and veteran tackle Jack Conklin. Both are lost for the season. The Browns need Watson to be healthy and hitting on all cylinders the rest of the year, so perhaps sitting out was a precaution with the long game in mind.