The Cleveland Browns unfortunately fell 28-3 at home against divisional rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. News broke shortly before the game started that Deshaun Watson (shoulder) would be inactive, leaving rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson starting his first game in the NFL. The game went as expected with a rookie QB, losing by more than three touchdowns in a game Cleveland was favored in before Watson’s news broke.
DTR had a less-than-ideal start to his NFL career, throwing for 121 yards, and three interceptions, while completing 52 percent of his passes. The run game didn’t help the young quarterback either, as Cleveland ran 25 times for 93 yards by committee.
The initial thought Sunday afternoon was that Watson wasn't cleared to play medically, however, more news broke Monday that indicates that may not be the case. According to head coach Kevin Stefanski, Watson was cleared to play and decided he knows his body best, which led to him sitting out this past Sunday.
Many have been quick to judge and comment on Watson’s decision, without looking into it in depth. The Browns (2-2) are now heading into the bye week, which gives Watson an extra week to rest his shoulder instead of potentially risking reaggravation.
It’s important Watson feels healthy and confident heading out of the bye week because Cleveland faces a tough stretch. The Browns take on the 49ers at home (4-0), the Colts and Seahawks on the road (2-2) and (3-1). The rest of the schedule will be crucial to Cleveland making a push for the playoffs or even possibly winning the AFC North.
I don’t blame or judge Watson for his decision to sit out and not risk reinjury, I would rather have him healthy for the rest of the year as opposed to rushing him back in a Week 4 game, even if it’s a divisional game.
The Cleveland Browns take on the undefeated San Francisco 49ers in week 6, at FirstEnergy stadium. The Brown’s will be heavy underdogs, but I think as long as they can slow down star running back Christian McCaffery they have a chance in this game.
With how inconsistent the Cleveland run game has been since Nick Chubb’s season-ending injury, the Browns aren’t going to be able to win this game unless Watson can do it through the air. Watson’s going to need to dial up a 300-yard, two-touchdown game in order to beat the 49ers.
My prediction is that happens and they win 31-28, thus proving it was too early to panic.