The Cleveland Browns offense was thrown for quite a potential loop this week for their matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. First, QB Deshaun Watson was extremely limited in practice all week and listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report.
Then came news on Saturday that TE David Njoku was burned lighting a fire in his fire pit.
If Watson can’t play, rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson will get the start. The team elevated QB PJ Walker for the game as a precaution if Watson could not play.
If Njoku can’t go, free agent addition TE Jordan Akins could take his role as the team’s primary receiving threat at the position while TE Harrison Bryant remains as the versatile blocker and receiver.
More receivers and less tight ends could also happen in that case.
For both Watson and Njoku, on Saturday night we got indicators that they would play but nothing is certain:
Deshaun Watson (shoulder contusion) is expected to play vs #Ravens. Because he hasn’t thrown all week, Stefanski/trainers will watch Watson throw in warmups before officially giving green light.— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) October 1, 2023
Elevating PJ Walker from PS provides flexibility, but not a sign DW won’t go #browns
With the bye week next week, Cleveland might have sat Watson if it weren’t the Ravens coming to town. We will likely see fewer quarterback runs if he does play.
Njoku’s Saturday tweet indicated he would play on Sunday:
This was backed up by a report that notes that Njoku’s ability to put on a helmet is the key to him playing Sunday:
#Browns TE David Njoku — who suffered burns on his face and hands in a fire pit incident at his home — has been adamant BTS that he’s playing vs the #Ravens tomorrow….— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) October 1, 2023
But the team *first* needs to see if he can get his helmet on … and play with it
The extent of his burns will likely come out at some point on Sunday whether he plays or not.
Should both Watson and Njoku do whatever they can to play tomorrow because it is Baltimore or be more cautious since it is only Week 4?