Browns Make QB Move With Deshaun Watson Injury Status Uncertain

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is questionable for Sunday's matchup against the Ravens.

Getty Images Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is questionable for Sunday's matchup against the Ravens.

The Cleveland Browns have elevated veteran quarterback PJ Walker from the practice squad amid some uncertainty around Deshaun Watson’s health.

Watson is dealing with a shoulder injury and has been listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. The move doesnʻt mean that Watson will not play against the Ravens but gives the team some extra insurance for game day.

Walker has some starting experience if his number is called. He spent three seasons with the Carolina Panthers, appearing in 15 games with seven starts. Walker completed 131 of 228 passes for 1,461 yards and five touchdowns during his time with the Panthers.

“You look at what’s available and what can make your team better, and certainly we’ll make decisions based on that,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said after signing Walker on August 30. “Just felt like adding PJ Walker to that room was a good fit.”

Walker was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and he spent time on the Indianapolis practice squad from 2017-19 and with XFL’s Houston Roughnecks in 2019. He joined the Panthers in 2020. Walker spent training camp with the Chicago Bears but was released ahead of the season.

Walker will be the third quarterback on the roster, sitting behind Watson and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

Browns Don’t Give Much Detail on Deshaun Watson’s Injury

Watson has been limited in practice this week with his shoulder injury and the Browns haven’t provided much detail on what he’s dealing with.

“Do I have to?” Stefanski said when asked about what Watson is dealing with. “What do they do in hockey? Whatever it says on the injury report. I’ll go with that.”

Watson is coming off his best game of the season and one of his best showings as a member of the Browns. Watson passed for 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 27-3 rout of the Tennessee Titans. He also completed 81.8% of his passes, the second-best mark of his career.

The Browns are hopeful that Watson will play but have not provided much context when it comes to his injury. Mary Kay Cabot of reported that Watson is dealing with a right shoulder contusion.

“Knowing him, he’s a baller,” Browns star pass-rusher Myles Garrett said on Friday. “He’s fought through a lot of things, we think he’ll play, but if he doesn’t, we just have to up our intensity one more notch.”

Dorian Thompson-Robinson Ready if Called Upon by Browns

If Watson is unable to go, Thompson-Robinson will get the starting nod. He was impressive in the preseason, making plays with both his arm and legs.

“I’m extremely confident, extremely ready for Sunday if my name is called, which I am every week and really every day, ever since I first got here,”  Thompson-Robinson said, per Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I’ve been taking all the reps behind the scenes. So I’ve been trying to prepare Deshaun as much as possible and if I do get my opportunity, it’ll for sure pay off.”

The Browns are also monitoring the status of tight end David Njoku. He suffered burn injuries to his face and arm during a household accident. In response, the team elevated Zaire Mitchell-Paden from the practice squad.

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