Deshaun Watson, Quarterback for Cleveland Browns, Sidelined with Season-Ending Injury

Posted on: November 15, 2023, 10:20h. 

Last updated on: November 15, 2023, 10:20h.

The Cleveland Browns lost starting quarterback Deshaun Watson to a season-ending shoulder injury, which requires surgery.

Browns Deshaun Watson injury
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, seen here getting sacked by Baltimore Ravens, will miss the remainder of the season due to a right shoulder injury. (Image: USA Today Sports)

Watson sustained the injury to his throwing arm in the second quarter during a comeback victory against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10.

Watson had also rolled his left ankle, but finished the game with two gnarly injuries. Reporters spotted Watson exiting M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in a walking boot.

An MRI revealed that Watson suffered a displaced glenoid fracture in his right shoulder. The imaging also revealed that Watson sustained a high ankle sprain.

Watson wants to play through the painful shoulder injury with the Browns fighting for a potential division title and playoff berth. Team doctors persuaded Watson to undergo surgery because one forceful hit could pulverize his shoulder.

Since joining the Browns in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans, Watson has an 8-4 record as a starter including 5-1 this season.

Watson completed 61.4% of his pass attempts this season for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns. He rushed for 142 yards and another touchdown. He threw seven interceptions and was sacked 17 times.

The Browns lost starting running back Nick Chubb to a torn ACL injury in the second game of the season. Offensive tackle Jack Conklin is also on the injured reserve with a knee injury.

PJ Walker Next Man Up for the 6-3 Browns

The Browns are 1-2 this season when either rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson or veteran PJ Walker started the game at quarterback.

Thompson-Robinson, a fifth-round draft pick from UCLA, began the season as a backup behind Watson. When Watson sustained a shoulder injury in Week 3, Thompson-Robinson was named the starter in Week 4. Thompson-Robinson struggled in a 28-3 loss against the Ravens. He threw three interceptions and was sacked four times.

The Browns lack confidence in Thompson-Robinson, so they signed Walker, who went 1-1 as a starter this season. Walker also played most of Week 7’s victory over the Indianapolis Colts when Watson was removed from the game in the first quarter.

Walker completed 49% of his passes this season for 618 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.

The Browns now regret the decision to trade backup quarterback Josh Dobbs. The Arizona Cardinals acquired Dobbs from the Browns at the end of the preseason. Dobbs started for the Cardinals while Kyler Murray was still recovering from a knee injury.

When the Minnesota Vikings lost Kirk Cousins to a season-ending Achilles injury, the Cardinals traded Dobbs to the Vikings at the trade deadline on Halloween. The Vikings won their last two games thanks to Doobs, and they remain in the thick of a playoff hunt in the NFC.

Browns in Contention for ‘Smashmouth’ Division Title

The AFC North has a reputation of being the most physical division in the NFL, which is how it earned its “Smashmouth Football” designation.

Heading into Week 11, all four teams in the AFC North have a winning record. The AFC North attempts to become the first division to send all four teams to the postseason by claiming all three AFC Wild Card spots.

If the season ended today, the Baltimore Ravens (7-3) would lock up the division title and secure the #2 seed in the AFC. The Browns (6-3) and Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) would advance to the playoffs as a wild-card team, but the Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) would miss the postseason.

The Bengals are currently on the bubble and the Houston Texans (5-4) would claim the final AFC Wild Card berth.

According to a postseason projection by Upshot, the Browns have an 84% chance to advance to the playoffs. The Steelers have a 61% chance at reaching the playoffs, and the Bengals have a 44% chance.

Upshot also predicts that the Ravens have a 43% chance to win the AFC Nort. The Ravens have the best chance at winning the division over the Browns (31%), Steelers (18%), and Bengals (8%).

How the Latest Watson Injury Alters the Futures Market

The news about Watson’s season-ending shoulder surgery had an immediate effect on the futures market. The Browns are now +5000 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII, but they were +4000 earlier in the week.

After the end of Week 1, the Brown saw their Super Bowl odds hit their best price at +1800. In the preseason, their title odds were +3500.

The Browns also saw their AFC Championship odds take a slight hit. They are now +2000 odds to win the conference and lock up a spot in the Super Bowl.

The Ravens are the betting favorite to clinch the AFC North at -115 odds. The Bengals are +400 odds, followed by the Steelers at +425, and the Browns at +450. The Browns were second on the board at +375 odds before they made an official announcement about Watson’s injury.

The Browns are -250 odds to make the playoffs, and +200 odds to miss the playoffs according to a recent update by DraftKings.

The Browns opened as a -3.5 favorite against the Steelers in Week 11. Oddsmakers made an injury adjustment to the line after the Watson news hit the airwaves. The Browns are still a favorite over the Steelers, but the point spread is now -2.

The Steelers have a 6-3 record against the point spread (ATS), and the Browns are 5-3-1 ATS.

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