Browns Make Key Announcement on Deshaun Watson’s Future

The Browns trade for Deshaun Watson has not worked out well.

Getty Images The Browns trade for Deshaun Watson has not worked out well.

The Cleveland Browns announced that quarterback Deshaun Watson had successful surgery on his injured throwing shoulder on Tuesday.

The surgery repaired a displaced fracture to the glenoid in his right shoulder, per a release from the team. Watson has already been ruled out for the rest of the season. The team said that the rehab process is scheduled to begin on Friday and a full recovery is expected prior to the start of the 2024 season.

It’s a tough situation but good news for the Browns, who should have their $230 million quarterback ready to roll for next season. Watson’s contract with the Browns is fully guaranteed, so there’s no doubt he’ll be the starter once healthy.

Watson battled a rough stretch of injuries this season with the Browns. He missed all but one quarter of play during a four-game stretch with a rotator cuff strain. The team said the rotator cuff strain and his current shoulder injury were unrelated.

Watson played through the shoulder injury and a sprained ankle against the Baltimore Ravens on November 12, going a perfect 14-of-14 in the second half as Cleveland pulled off a 33-31 comeback victory.

The Browns went 5-1 with Watson as the starting quarterback this season. He completed 61.4% of his passes for 1,115 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions in those games.

Browns Rolling With Rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson

The Browns traded for Watson during the 2022 offseason in a blockbuster deal. Cleveland gave up three first-round picks, along with a third-round and fourth-round pick. Through two seasons, Watson will have appeared in 12 games for the Browns. He missed the majority of last season serving an 11-game suspension.

Watson was hoping to get on track this season and showed some flashes of his Pro Bowl form. However, injuries derailed any momentum that was built.

“I’m still in disbelief,” Watson said on November 15 after being ruled out for the year. ”Just 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.”

With Watson sidelined, the Browns turned the starting duties over to rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson. He helped lead the Browns to a 13-10 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 19, engineering a game-winning drive late. Thompson-Robinson finished that contest with 165 yards and one interception but came up big when it mattered most.

“I think every young player, every young person, every – coaches, you name it — you learn from every opportunity,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said of Thompson-Robinson. “Whether it’s in-game, in practice, these are all reps for us to continue to improve. I think that’s what this is for him. That’s getting the first one under the belt and then it’s on to the next one.”

Browns Bring in Joe Flacco as Veteran Insurance

Thompson-Robinson will be the starter on Sunday for the Browns against the Denver Broncos, despite the team signing veteran Joe Flacco on Monday.

The former Super Bowl MVP comes to the table with an extensive resume and playoff experience but it will continue to be Thompson-Robinson leading the way under center — at least for now.

“Dorian will start and Joe’s role is to support this team,” Stefanski said. “Coming in here, we were able to add a guy with a ton of experience. He’ll be great for that room. He’ll be great for this team.”

Flacco was initially signed to the practice squad but is expected to join Thompson-Robinson and PJ Walker on the active roster soon. If the rookie struggles, there’s a chance the Browns could turn to Flacco once he gets up to speed.

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