Deshaun Watson could avoid playing against Pittsburgh Steelers this season due to an ongoing shoulder issue at Cleveland Browns and may end up on Injured Reserve as soon as this month.
Watson had to miss Weeks 5 and 6 due to a shoulder injury before returning for Week 7 against Indianapolis Colts but left early after being sacked; an evaluation for concussion occurred due to this hit but ultimately it was cleared; nonetheless he remained sidelined due to head coach Kevin Stefanski being cautious with him.
Now, there are questions as to whether Watson will play anytime soon due to shoulder concerns. When asked by Stefanski if Watson may end up on injured reserve (IR), Stefanski stated the team is taking it day by day.
If Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield does land on injured reserve (IR), he’ll miss at least four weeks; with an expected return date set for Week 12 after their meeting against Pittsburgh.
Watson completed 22 of 40 passes for 235 yards and one touchdown but also threw an interception against Cleveland in their opening matchup, leading Pittsburgh to victory 26-22 thanks to T.J. Watt’s scoop-and-score play.
If Watson cannot play against the Steelers, P.J. Walker appears likely to remain as their starter. Walker had been spending most of his week practicing, with game day elevated roster status being granted when necessary; should Watson miss any extended timeframe this would need to change accordingly.