Deshaun Watson heard the concerns and responded appropriately.
The second-year Cleveland Browns quarterback suffered a shoulder injury in Week 3, which unfortunately came after his best outing with the team. That injury ended up creating a lot of drama since there was some miscommunication early on in regard to the severity.
Watson wound up missing Week 4 against Baltimore as well as Week 6 against San Francisco. He then returned in Week 7 but lasted just five plays before taking a hard hit and being sent to the sideline. He then sat out in Week 8 as the Browns lost a heartbreaker to the Seahawks.
That's when the questions turned to his desire. Watson was even asked if he hears the noise, most specifically, the question about whether or not he even wants to play football anymore.
“Why wouldn’t I want to play?” Watson said Thursday according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. “I just worked my ass off for two years to get back to playing, so why wouldn’t I want to play? This is what I’ve been doing since I was 6 years old, so why wouldn’t I want to play?"
He continued to say any talk that didn't come from him wasn't true (although he used more colorful language). His response was passionate but it wasn't going to silence the noise. The only thing that could do this would be for him to get healthy and play a great game.
And that's exactly what he did in Week 9.
Watson returned for their home game against the Arizona Cardinals and while he was rusty in the first half, he returned to form in the final 30 minutes. Watson, who did hit a 59-yarder in the first half, was connecting on nearly everything by the time the game came to an end. He even fired an absolute dart to Amari Cooper for a 49-yard gain to set up a Kareem Hunt touchdown, which made it 27-0.
In all, he had 219 yards through the air and 22 on the ground. He also threw two touchdowns and had no interceptions at all.
By the end of the game, he was again on the sideline, but this time it was to watch P.J. Walker hand the ball off in garbage time.
Now with this win behind us, and a solid performance from Watson fresh on our minds, we can turn the page to Baltimore without any drama.