Deshaun Watson Leaves Browns Before Season End

Amidst dynamic shifts, the Browns navigate through crucial changes.

by Nouman Rasool
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Deshaun Watson Leaves Browns Before Season End
© Nick Cammett/Getty Images

In a significant move for the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Deshaun Watson is set to leave the team temporarily, heading back to Los Angeles for continued rehabilitation of his shoulder. This development follows Watson's surgery on November 21, after sustaining a season-ending injury in a game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports that Watson, having undergone surgery over a month ago, was permitted to be present on the Browns’ sidelines. He was seen supporting his team during their game on Thursday, December 28, alongside other injured players like Chubb and Grant Delpit.

Watson's presence at the game marked his first sideline appearance since the injury. He is expected to return to the team for the playoffs after completing his rehabilitation in L.A. with his surgeon’s medical team. Watson's enthusiastic support for his teammates was evident during the broadcast, especially when he celebrated a 50-yard touchdown pass by Joe Flacco to Jerome Ford with a vigorous chest bump.

Speaking to News 5 Cleveland, Watson expressed his eagerness to support his team, acknowledging the difficulty of being away from football but emphasizing the necessity to manage injuries effectively.

Flacco's Impressive Streak

In the meantime, Joe Flacco has stepped up impressively as the Browns' quarterback.

His performance has been outstanding, with a 4-1 record as a starter and over 300 yards passed in four consecutive games - a new record for a Browns quarterback. Flacco's leadership has been instrumental in securing the Browns a playoff spot, only the third since 1999.

While Watson's future in Cleveland has been a topic of speculation, especially given Flacco's success, the Browns remain committed to Watson as their franchise quarterback. Watson, who joined the Browns in 2022 with a $230 million contract, is expected to be fully fit for the next season's training camp.

The Browns, no strangers to injuries this season, recently had to place backup quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson on injured reserve due to a hip injury. To bolster their quarterback lineup, the Browns signed PJ Walker as a backup to Flacco and added veteran Jeff Driskel to the active roster from the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad.

Driskel is likely to play in the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, especially if the Browns choose to rest their starters in preparation for the playoffs. The Browns’ final regular-season game and their playoff seeding may hinge on the outcome of the Baltimore Ravens' game against the Miami Dolphins.

If the Ravens win, the Browns will be out of contention for the No. 1 seed and the AFC North title. Regardless, the team's resilience in the face of injuries and their ability to adapt has been a hallmark of their season.

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