The Cleveland Browns have come out of their bye week with more uncertainty, it seems, than they went in with. QB Deshaun Watson, after missing the team’s Week 4 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, was not on the practice field on Monday.
HC Kevin Stefanski used language like “functionally ready” to vaguely describe what the Browns are hoping from Watson.
On top of that, OL Joel Bitonio was not at practice and, according to a report, left the Berea facilities on crutches during the bye week. It is unknown what kind of issue the veteran lineman is dealing with.
Tuesday, we did get a little bit of clarity on Watson’s injury and what he was able to do on Monday:
#Browns QB Deshaun Watson remains day-to-day with what sources say is a rotator cuff contusion.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 10, 2023
After a surprise scratch in Week 4, Watson spent the bye resting and rehabbing. He didn’t practice Monday, but did some throwing. Status TBD for Sunday’s game vs. the #49ers. pic.twitter.com/tREXg6r83U
The rotator cuff contusion adds specificity to the injury that was previously just noted as a shoulder contusion. Beyond that clarity, unless the team discloses more details about the injury it is hard to know what the contusion might entail.
The fact that Watson was able to throw on Monday is a positive sign. During Week 4, he was basically shut down to try to heal his issue in time for the Ravens game. That Watson, the team and the medical staff feel comfortable with him throwing on Monday could help provide more information on whether he is progressing in the direction of playing Sunday or not.
While official injury reports do not come out until Wednesday, it will be interesting if information is leaked as to how Watson’s shoulder is responding after throwing on Monday.
In place of Watson, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a rough performance against Baltimore leading to whispers that veteran PJ Walker could get the nod this week instead if the starter can’t play. Walker has played in 15 games, including seven starts, in his career, all with the Carolina Panthers.
We will keep you up to date on Watson’s injury as information becomes available.