Browns’ Quarterback Deshaun Watson Rules Out For San Francisco 49ers Game


When the Browns meet the unbeaten San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, P.J. Walker will be the starting quarterback.

Deshaun Watson has been ruled out of the game by the Browns due to a bruised rotator cuff in his right throwing shoulder. Since getting hurt on September 24 against the Tennessee Titans, he has been out of commission. Watson will miss the second game in a row. After being restricted in practice that week, he sat out the Baltimore Ravens game, which ended in a 28-3 loss.

The Browns believed that Watson’s injuries would recover sufficiently during the bye week that followed their games against the Ravens and 49ers. Instead, throughout the week coming up to the game, he did not practice at all.

Walker must still be taken off the practice squad by Saturday at 4 p.m. in order to be qualified. After being released by the Chicago Bears in late August, the fourth-year pro was added to the practice squad.

The former Temple University player played for the Carolina Panthers for the previous three seasons, making 15 appearances and starting seven of them. Steve Wilks, the current defensive coordinator for the 49ers, was the interim head coach of the Panthers for the 2017–18 campaign.

“I think he’s very capable of running that offense,” Wilks told Bay Area reporters on Thursday. “He makes good decisions. He’s good with the ball. He can win with his legs, a lot of what Deshaun can do. So when people say are they going to dummy-down the offense? I don’t think so. I think he’s more than capable of running that offense.”

Walker started 4-3 games in Carolina, including 5 last year while Baker Mayfield was out due to injury. In his career, he has completed 131 of 228 passes (57.5%), for 1,461 yards, five touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

Walker completed 63 of 106 passes (59.4%) for 731 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions while playing for the Panthers in all last season. He was sacked seven times while running six times for 39 yards.

In addition, the Browns might be missing left guard Joel Bitonio, whose streak of 102 consecutive regular-season games played would end. Due to a knee ailment, Bitonio hasn’t practiced this week, but the team hasn’t declared him out.