The Cleveland Browns took the week off last week to get healthy and prepare for a very long stretch run in the 2023 NFL season. The primary goal was to get QB Deshaun Watson healthy after he missed Week 4 and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson looked totally outmatched.
Watson’s injury was confusing from the outside looking in two weeks ago as the quarterback seemed likely to play, didn’t play and then comments afterward sparked controversy over that decision.
With the Browns returning to practice on Monday, things are still not clear with Watson which is cause for alarm for Week 6 against a great San Francisco 49ers team.
What we do know is that Watson did not practice with the team in Berea today, along with a few other players:
Deshaun Watson was not on the field for the start of Browns practice this morning.— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) October 9, 2023
Also absent were David Njoku, Ethan Pocic and Joel Bitonio.
Myles Garrett was practicing. The Browns practice again on Wednesday.
We then learned the quarterback was working inside, presumably for health reasons, instead of being on the field:
#Browns Deshaun Watson worked inside today while the team practiced outside— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 9, 2023
After practice, HC Kevin Stefanski noted that Watson was in fact rehabbing during practice:
#Browns coach Kevin Stefanski: Deshaun Watson wasn't on the field as part of his rehab. Treat all of our injured guys as day-by-day.— Chris Easterling (@ceasterlingABJ) October 9, 2023
Pressed for more information, Stefanski made a vague statement that will likely be interpreted in a variety of ways:
Stefanski: "(Watson) will be out there as soon as he's ready. ... functionally ready." #Browns— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 9, 2023
Based on NFL rules, teams are not required to provide any detailed information until the first injury report is released on Wednesday. For that reason, Stefanski can say things like “treat all of our guys as day-to-day” even though there isn’t any real information there.
Stefanski provided some general updates on other players as well:
On other Browns injuries:— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) October 9, 2023
_ Garrett (foot), "doing better."
_ Njoku (burns), "progressing."
_ Bitonio (unknown) "working through something."
We will provide you updates as information becomes available related to Watson and the rest of the key contributors who are on the injury list.
What do you think about Watson not practicing on Monday after the bye week?