During the Browns’ Week 7 victory over the Colts, Deshaun Watson exited the game following a hit by Indianapolis defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo. Although he passed a concussion test, Watson did not return to the game, as the Browns opted to exercise caution, according to CBS Sports sideline reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed that Watson is their starting quarterback for the upcoming game against the Seattle Seahawks, provided he is fit to play. Stefanski emphasized that player protection is always his priority, saying, “He’s our starter moving forward. He’s our starter in Seattle. It’s always going to be my decision to protect our players.”
On Monday, when asked about the possibility of placing Watson on injured reserve, Stefanski responded by stating that the quarterback’s condition is day-to-day. The Browns are awaiting the results of an MRI.
Although Watson cleared concussion protocol, he exhibited lingering effects from the hit. He appeared to be in discomfort, holding his right shoulder and having difficulty raising his right arm. He did not attempt any passes on the sideline.
The injury occurred during the first quarter, with Watson already questionable due to a shoulder injury. He left the game with just over three minutes remaining in the first quarter, with the Browns trailing the Colts 14-7. Up to that point, Cleveland’s starting quarterback had completed only one of five passes for five yards, with an interception.
PJ Walker, who filled in for the injured Watson during last week’s win over the 49ers, took Watson’s place in the starting lineup. Despite not completing his lone pass attempt, Walker led the Browns on back-to-back scoring drives upon entering the game. The first drive resulted in a short touchdown run by Kareem Hunt, set up by Myles Garrett’s strip-sack of Gardner Minshew. The Browns’ subsequent drive concluded with a field goal after a blocked field goal attempt by the Browns’ special teams.
Walker finished the game with 178 yards on 15 of 32 passing. Despite his modest statistics, the Browns emerged victorious over the Colts with a close score of 39-38, improving their season record to 4-2.