NFL Rumors: Deshaun Watson didn't play for Browns despite being medically cleared
The Cleveland Browns held Deshaun Watson out of Sunday's 28-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens with a shoulder issue. Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson started in Watson's place and struggled mightily, completing 19-of-36 passes for 121 yards and three interceptions.
An offseason of hype around DTR did not translate to the regular season. Watson hasn't been great since arriving in Cleveland, but he's a proven veteran who has gradually gotten more comfortable with his surroundings. He put together his best game of the season in Cleveland's Week 3 victory over Tennessee, but he suffered a shoulder injury late in the game.
Watson was medically cleared for the Browns' Week 4 matchup with the Ravens, but he made the executive decision to sit out.
It's not terribly common for NFL players who are medically cleared to request the night off, but as Kevin Stefanski says, Watson knows his body best. There's no reason for uproar or controversy here, even if the optics are slightly askew. The expectation is that Watson will be back on the field when the Browns tango with the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 15.
It feels like a strategic move on the part of Watson to get two weeks of rest in with Cleveland entering a buy week. Shoulder injuries are obviously tricky for QBs, so he can't be blamed for taking the cautious approach this early in the season. Just don't be surprised if this decision gets brought up again if the Browns find themselves in a tight battle for a postseason spot.