Jake TrotterESPN Staff Writer2 Minute Read
BEREA, Ohio — The return of Deshaun Watson, quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, seems imminent as he took a significant stride forward on Friday by participating in his first complete practice since September 22nd. Watson had been sidelined for the past two games due to a rotator cuff strain in his right throwing shoulder.
Although Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski did not disclose whether Watson would start against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, he did acknowledge that Watson, who is listed as questionable, appeared to be back to his usual self during Friday’s practice session, where he took the majority of snaps with the first-team.
“I’m eager to observe how he responds over the next 48 hours after fully exerting himself today,” Stefanski stated. “But I must say, he looked impressive during practice.”
Watson had previously stated on Wednesday that he was unable to predict when he would be able to return to the field. However, he resumed limited practice on Thursday and then participated in nearly the entire 20-minute portion of Friday’s practice open to the media.
“I have to approach it one day at a time,” Watson remarked on Wednesday. “I won’t jeopardize the team’s performance by playing when I am unable to perform certain actions that could potentially limit us in crucial situations. That’s precisely why I haven’t been able to play so far.”
The injury to Watson’s shoulder occurred during the Browns’ victory over the Tennessee Titans on September 24th.
Watson was absent from Cleveland’s Week 4 loss against the Baltimore Ravens. Following the Week 5 bye, he was unable to practice leading up to Cleveland’s 19-17 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. In Watson’s absence, PJ Walker stepped in as the starting quarterback against the 49ers and led the Browns to victory with a field goal.
If Watson is unable to play, Stefanski confirmed that Walker will start again on Sunday.
Currently, Watson ranks 21st in the NFL in QBR (46.7) and has completed 63.7% of his passes for 678 yards, with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
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