Browns QB Watson expected to start at Indy after missing 2 games … – Hickory Daily Record

BEREA, Ohio — Deshaun Watson’s official status for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis is questionable.

Nothing looked uncertain about Cleveland’s quarterback on Friday.

Watson fired passes with his usual velocity during his second straight practice, and he is expected to start when the Browns visit the Colts. He has missed two games with a strained right shoulder.

“He looked like Deshaun,” All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett said. “Only he knows what he’s dealing with both mentally and physically at this point. I think he’ll be able to overcome whatever hurdles that he’s facing.”

However, coach Kevin Stefanski wouldn’t fully commit to Watson starting for the first time in nearly a month after hurting the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder in a Sept. 24 win over Tennessee.

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“I want to see how he responds over the next 48 hours based on that full workload that he just got,” Stefanski said. “But he looked good today.”

The Browns (3-2) can’t be blamed for being overly cautious with Watson or conservative with any pronouncements following several weeks of speculation — and some confusion — about the health of their franchise quarterback.

Watson has been out since bruising his rotator cuff on a designed running play against the Titans. The injury was initially thought to be short-term, but then Watson sat out on Oct. 1 against Baltimore after being expected to play.

Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson was thrown to the Ravens and had three interceptions in his NFL debut, a 28-3 loss.

Watson’s situation took another twist the following week when general manager Andrew Berry expressed confidence that the three-time Pro Bowler would return after the Browns’ bye week. But Watson wasn’t even ready to practice and sat out last week as backup P.J. Walker helped Cleveland upset the San Francisco 49ers.

Walker will start again if Watson can’t play this week, but all signs are pointing to him facing Indianapolis (3-3), an AFC South opponent he played six times while with Houston. Watson is 2-4 against the Colts.

On Wednesday, Watson, who is 5-4 as a starter with Cleveland, provided the first details of his injury, describing it as “microtears” in his rotator cuff and saying he wasn’t sure if he would get back to 100% this season.

Watson couldn’t provide a timetable for his return, but then was back on the field for practice on Thursday.

During the portion of that practice open to the media, he looked tentative while making even short throws and didn’t put much zip on his passes.

It was a much different Watson on Friday. Wearing a compression sleeve on his right arm and a supportive brace on his shoulder, he stepped into his throws and had more velocity while taking the bulk of first-team reps early in practice.

“He’s looking really good,” tight end David Njoku said. “So we’re excited for Sunday.”


RAMS: Cornerback Derion Kendrick could play on Sunday, Los Angeles coach Sean McVay said. That’s less than a week after Kendrick was arrested and charged with two gun offenses. Kendrick returned to practice Friday, and McVay described the second-year pro as apologetic for the disturbance he caused to the Rams. Kendrick was arrested following a traffic stop in Hollywood several hours after he played nearly every snap in the Rams’ 26-9 victory over Arizona last Sunday. TMZ reported officers found a gun and marijuana in Kendrick’s car. McVay said he believes Kendrick can use his latest arrest as “a learning opportunity.”

GIANTS: Quarterback Daniel Jones is questionable with a neck injury for New York’s game against Washington on Sunday. Tyrod Taylor will start if Jones isn’t ready to go. He started in Sunday’s 14-9 loss to Buffalo. The Giants twice missed out on chances to score from the 1-yard line. Jones was injured two weeks ago in a 31-16 loss to Miami.

BEARS: Quarterback Justin Fields is not expected to need surgery for his dislocated right thumb. As expected, Fields was ruled out for Sunday’s game against visiting Las Vegas. Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent will start for Chicago. Coach Matt Eberflus said it appears that Fields, at least for now, will avoid injured reserve. Eberflus said Fields’ thumb is improving and the third-year quarterback is “week to week.”

BILLS: Buffalo placed running back Damien Harris on injured reserve due to a neck injury that required him to spend a night in the hospital. Coach Sean McDermott had said this week that Harris was still experiencing soreness in his neck. The fifth-year player is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Harris lay motionless on the field after his head struck the shoulder of Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke during Buffalo’s 14-9 win last Sunday night.

STEELERS: Tight end Pat Freiermuth will miss his second straight game after aggravating a hamstring injury. Pittsburgh downgraded Freiermuth to out for their visit to the Los Angeles Rams. Freiermuth initially tweaked the hamstring against Houston on Oct. 1 and sat out an Oct. 8 win against Baltimore.

SEAHAWKS: The NFL has fined Seattle safety Jamal Adams $50,000 for his “directed verbal remarks” toward a concussion doctor during the team’s Week 6 game against Cincinnati, according to an AP source. The person spoke to on condition of anonymity and said Adams also “made inappropriate physical conduct” with an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who was preparing to evaluate Seahawks wide receiver Jake Bobo. It’s the second incident in as many games between Adams and an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant.

PACKERS: Having last week off didn’t necessarily help Green Bay get healthier. The Packers had10 players listed on their injury report Friday as they prepare for Sunday’s game at Denver. Perhaps the most surprising name on the list was cornerback Jaire Alexander. He has a back injury but played in the Packers’ loss at Las Vegas on Oct. 9.

BRONCOS: Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy wanted to clear the air this week about a number of things. Topics included his dust-up with former Carolina receiver and current NFL Network analyst Steve Smith, his lack of production so far and Denver’s 1-5 start heading into Sunday’s game against Green Bay. Jeudy said he didn’t know Smith wanted to apologize to him for criticizing him on his podcast earlier this year. Nevertheless, Jeudy defended his actions when he responded to Smith with a vulgarity and didn’t want to talk to him in an encounter before the Broncos’ loss at Kansas City last week.

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Rohit Palit

Periodista deportivo y graduado en Ciencias de la Comunicación de Madrid. Cinco años de experiencia cubriendo fútbol tanto a nivel internacional como local. Más de tres años escribiendo sobre la NFL. Escritor en desde 2023.

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