David Njoku Calls Out Browns Fans Questioning Deshaun Watson

David Njoku, Browns

Getty Tight end David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson may be tougher than any of the Dawg Pound — or any other NFL fans, for that matter — think.

That’s the position of tight end David Njoku, who has been in Los Angeles catching passes from Watson as the quarterback rehabilitates from shoulder surgery in November 2023.

Njoku spoke to the unseen toughness of himself and Watson, as well as other players around the league, during the most recent “Lockverse QB Unplugged” podcast, hosted by Watson and his personal quarterbacks coach Quincy Avery.

Ninety-eight percent of things that happen to us, Deshaun and myself or whoever, nobody knows. And that’s what hurts the most. I keep it real. I’ve had a high-ankle sprain before. That b**** hurts like a mother f*****. That s*** hurts so bad. I couldn’t walk. I thought I was a big old macho man. I couldn’t do nothing.

[Deshaun] tore his shoulder, right? And had a high-ankle sprain the same game, and still beat the juggernaut Ravens. You know what I mean? That’s something that people don’t really comprehend the right way.

And seeing all that stuff on social media and stuff, it’s sad because you know the saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” In this case, it’s not really bliss because you don’t know … all the efforts and stuff being done behind closed doors. I know [Deshaun] is strong-minded but that, you just don’t like seeing that, especially when you’re giving it your all for a city.

Browns QB Deshaun Watson Struggled Before Shoulder Injury

Browns QB Deshaun Watson had a feeling Bengals WR Tee Higgins would demand a trade.

GettyCleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.

No one can dispute Watson’s second-half heroics during the Browns’ regular-season win over Baltimore. That said, Watson’s struggles to get on the field and to stay on it — as well as to play well when he was active — existed long before his performance against the Ravens in November.

The quarterback missed 11 of 17 games in 2022, his first season in Cleveland after signing a five-year deal worth $230 million in fully guaranteed money, due to an NFL suspension for violating the player code of conduct. After returning to the fold, Watson led the team to a 3-3 record on the strength of a 58.2% completion percentage for 1,102 passing yards, 7 TDs and 5 INTs, according to Pro Football Reference.

Watson was equally ineffective as a passer last season before his injury, despite leading Cleveland to a 5-1 record as a starter behind the NFL’s best defense. He completed 61.4% of his passes for 1,115 yards, 7 TDs and 4 INTs in those six starts before exiting for the year due to his shoulder injury.

Browns May Need to Rely on Jameis Winston to Take Them to Playoffs in 2024

Jameis Winston is ready to work with Deshaun Watson after signing with the Cleveland Browns.

GettyBackup quarterback Jameis Winston of the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns relied on Joe Flacco to carry them to the playoffs last season, as Watson sat injured. During the upcoming campaign, Jameis Winston will be the man under center should Watson find himself sidelined.

Cleveland decided not to bring Flacco back in 2024 after leading the team to a 4-1 record down the stretch last season. Winston, who is nine years Flacco’s junior, spent the last several years as a backup QB with the New Orleans Saints.

Like Flacco, Winston has battled interception issues over the course of his career, tallying 99 picks in 93 games played.

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