The Cleveland Browns suffered a major setback when starting quarterback Deshaun Watson sustained a season-ending shoulder injury that will require surgery. Watson sustained the injury in the second quarter during a comeback victory against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10. A subsequent MRI revealed a displaced glenoid fracture in his right shoulder and a high ankle sprain.
Despite his desire to play through the injury, team doctors persuaded Watson to undergo surgery to prevent further damage. Since joining the Browns, Watson has a record of 8-4 as a starter, including a 5-1 record this season. The team has also faced challenges with injuries to other key players, including starting running back Nick Chubb and offensive tackle Jack Conklin.
In response to Watson’s injury, the team has turned to either rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson or veteran PJ Walker to fill the starting quarterback position. The team lacks confidence in Thompson-Robinson, so they signed Walker, who has a 1-1 record as a starter this season. The Browns are now dealing with other repercussions of their decision to trade backup quarterback Josh Dobbs, with the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings benefiting from his services.
The injury to Watson also has implications for the AFC North division race. All four teams in the division have winning records, with the Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cincinnati Bengals vying for potential playoff spots. The Browns have an 84% chance of reaching the playoffs, according to a postseason projection, but will face tough competition in the division.
In the betting world, the news of Watson’s injury has affected the Browns’ odds in the futures market. Despite the setback, the Browns are still considered contenders in the division and will look to overcome the loss of Watson as they continue their push for a playoff spot. The team is now focused on regrouping and remaining competitive in the AFC North.