INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson made his first start in nearly a month on Sunday.
He spent the last three-quarters of his time in Indianapolis watching from the sidelines again, and now he’s expected to undergo another MRI on his injured right shoulder. me.
After backup quarterback P.J. Walker rallied the Browns to a 39-38 win, coach Kevin Stefanski said he sidelined Watson as a precaution and expected him to start next week.
“He’s our starter for the future, he’s our starter in Seattle,” Stefanski said. “It’s just that protecting our players has always been my decision.”
Watson was injured while rushing for third down late in the first half. As he threw across his body, Colts defensive end Dayo Odeyinbgo hit Watson in the chest, sending him hard to the ground as his head bounced hard off the turf.
He remained sprawled on the ground for several minutes as the Browns medical team tended to him before walking off and entering Cleveland’s blue medical tent.
Watson said doctors initially examined his throwing shoulder and what has been described as a strained rotator cuff — an injury that kept him out of action the previous three weeks.
Between the first and second quarters, Watson said he returned to the tent to be evaluated for a concussion. Though he was cleared by the doctors, Watson did not return to the game.
“I want to compete. I’m a competitor, of course, I wanted to go back out there,” he said. “But when I step on the field, I don’t want to feel like something is holding me back.”
Stefanski thought the best move was to keep the Browns’ $230 million quarterback on the sideline while allowing Walker to direct a second straight comeback victory.
Watson hadn’t played since hurting his shoulder Sept. 24 and only returned to practice this week after last working out with his teammates Sept. 29.
During his brief appearance on Sunday, Watson looked nothing like his usual self. He was 1 of 5 for 5 yards and an interception before leaving and his final pass was initially ruled an interception before being overturned on a replay.
When Watson returned to practice this week, Walker said he hadn’t taken any photos yet. Still, Walker went 15-of-32 for 178 yards with one interception and was able to lead the Browns (4-2) on 12 plays, 80 yards in the final 2 1/2 minutes against the team he played with . first time. NFL. Walker spent three seasons on the Colts’ practice squad.
Cleveland took the lead with Kareem Hunt’s 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-goal with 15 seconds left.
“That’s P.J., he’s a professional,” Watson said. “He’s been in the league long enough that he could move up if called upon.”