Deshaun Watson’s Injury: A Game Changer for Cleveland Browns


Nov 15, 2023

Deshaun Watson, quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, has been sidelined for the remainder of the 2023 season due to a broken bone in his right throwing shoulder. This marks a significant blow to Watson and the Browns, especially considering his limited playtime since joining the team.

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In the past two years, Watson has played only 11 of the 26 possible games for Cleveland, with a mere 42% participation rate. His performance in these games has been underwhelming, with a 59.8% completion rate, averaging slightly over 201 yards per game and 14 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

Watson’s absence is particularly notable given his hefty contract with the Browns—a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million deal. From 2024, Watson’s contract will account for over 20% of the Browns’ salary cap. Despite the high investment, Watson’s on-field contribution has been limited, raising questions about the value of such a massive contract, which is already criticized as potentially the worst in professional sports history.

Despite Watson’s injury and challenges, the Browns have managed a 6-3 record this season. Even without Watson, who missed three games this year in addition to an 11-game suspension in 2022, the team remains competitive in the AFC playoff race and the AFC North divisional championship. Under the guidance of coordinator Jim Schwartz, the Browns’ defense has been a stronghold, excelling in various aspects, including pass rush and coverage. Offensively, the team has demonstrated prowess in running the ball and executing screen plays under coach Kevin Stefanski‘s expanded playbook.

Despite Watson’s absence, the team’s resilience and adaptability make them a continued contender for the division title and a spot in the playoffs.

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Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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