Nov 15, 2023 - Sports

What Deshaun Watson's season-ending injury means for the Browns

Deshaun Watson sits on the sideline in a winter hat.

Deshaun gone. Photo: Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Just when Browns fans think things are looking up, fate pulls them back down to Earth.

Driving the news: The team revealed on Wednesday that quarterback Deshaun Watson will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a fracture in his throwing shoulder.

  • Watson suffered the injury during Sunday's win against the Baltimore Ravens.

Why it matters: Sunday's game was, arguably, Watson's best performance since being traded to Cleveland and signing a five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million contract in 2022.

State of play: The Browns are 6-3. If the season ended today, Cleveland would hold the sixth of seven AFC playoff spots.

The intrigue: Watson had been criticized for his poor play this season until leading a stunning comeback Sunday against the Ravens, who were at the top of the AFC.

Yes, but: Now, questions will resurface on whether acquiring Watson and giving him an unprecedented amount of guaranteed money was a mistake.

By the numbers: Watson has played 12 games in two seasons with Cleveland, earning $92 million.

  • He is under contract through 2026 with $138 million left on his deal, according to ESPN.

What they're saying: "Obviously, we are very disappointed and devastated for Deshaun," Browns general manager Andrew Berry said during a Wednesday press conference.

  • "Undoubtedly the quarterback position is very important, but [football] is a team sport and there are a lot of individuals that will contribute to our success."

What's next: Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson — who has thrown for 130 yards and three interceptions this season — will reportedly start against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

The bottom line: Four of the Browns' final eight games are against teams with winning records.

  • Cleveland would likely need to finish with 10 wins to comfortably secure a playoff spot.

Go deeper: Deshaun Watson may be the Browns' biggest mistake ever


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