Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will miss the rest of the season after surgeons repair his injured right shoulder, the club announced Wednesday.
Watson told team doctors he felt pain in his throwing shoulder after Sunday’s dramatic 33-31 come-from-behind victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
An MRI scan revealed “a displaced fracture to the glenoid,” and “it has been determined that this injury will require immediate surgical repair to avoid further structural damage,” the team said.
Watson arrived in Cleveland ahead of last season following his trade from the Houston Texans, which was prompted by sexual misconduct allegations against him.
He missed the first 11 games of last season after he and the NFL agreed to the penalty, officials said, for his “sexualized contact” with massage therapists.
The Browns are off to a surprising 6-3 start, riding one of the stingiest defensive units in football.
Cleveland’s defense is allowing an NFL-best 242.7 yards per game. The team’s scoring defense, 18.9 points per game, is sixth best.
The season-ending injury came while Watson was playing one of his best games in a Browns uniform.
“We’re disappointed for him,” general manager Andrew Berry told reporters. “Any time you lose any player to a season-ending injury, particularly your starting quarterback, it’s disappointing.”
Watson, 28, has yet to put up the dazzling numbers in Cleveland that he posted in Houston.
In his last season leading the Texans in 2020, he threw for a league-high 4,823 yards in 16 games, to go along with 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.
In his 12-game Browns career, Watson has thrown for a modest 2,217 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine picks.
Berry said he doesn’t consider the trade and the contract extension for Watson failures.
“We see him every day in terms of his performance on the field, his preparation, his physical and mental toughness,” Berry said. “We really do feel great about that position for us moving forward with him.”
Backup quarterback P.J. Walker has started three games this year, helping Cleveland to victories over the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers.
David K. Li
David K. Li is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.