On Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns received a devastating blow when they learned that quarterback Deshaun Watson would undergo season-ending surgery to repair a fractured throwing shoulder. The injury, which was discovered through an MRI performed on Monday, occurred during the team's Week 7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Despite finishing the game despite the injury, Watson's shoulder was deemed too severe to continue playing without risking further damage. The team's doctors determined that immediate surgery was necessary to ensure a full recovery and allow Watson to return to the field in 2024.
Watson, who was acquired by the Browns in a highly controversial trade this offseason, expressed his disappointment and disbelief upon learning of the injury. "I'm still trying to process all the information," he said. "I felt like we were turning a corner to really make a run and still believe we still will with the guys in this locker room. I just wanted to physically be a part of it."
While Watson's absence is a significant setback for the Browns, their season is not over. The team still has a talented roster and is in the midst of a competitive AFC North race. On Sunday, they face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a crucial matchup that could have major implications for the playoffs.
With Watson out, the Browns will turn to Jacoby Brissett, who has been serviceable as a backup in the past. However, Brissett is not the same caliber of quarterback as Watson, and his absence will undoubtedly affect the Browns' offensive production.
The loss of Watson also has broader implications for the AFC playoff picture. The Browns were considered to be a potential contender in the AFC North, and their ability to compete for a playoff spot will be severely hampered without their star quarterback.
The injury could also impact the playoff chances of other teams in the AFC, such as the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are in the midst of their own playoff races, and the absence of Watson could make their paths to the postseason slightly easier.
Overall, Deshaun Watson's season-ending injury is a significant setback for the Cleveland Browns and the AFC playoff race. While the Browns will still try to compete for a playoff spot without their star quarterback, the loss of Watson will undoubtedly make their path to the postseason much more difficult.