Deshaun Watson is questionable for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens, and the Cleveland Browns are preparing for the quarterback to potentially be inactive. The Browns have moved PJ Walker from the practice squad to the active roster in Week 4. If Deshaun Watson's injury prevents him from playing, Walker will be Cleveland's backup quarterback.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson will start under center for the Browns against the Ravens if Watson can't play. Watson was limited in practice all week with a shoulder injury. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he's “hopeful” that Watson will be good to go.
It sounds like there's a better chance than not that Watson will play, though elevating Walkers gives Cleveland some insurance at the quarterback position. A star with the XFL before it shut down during the pandemic in 2020, Walker spent the last three seasons with the Carolina Panthers. The 28-year-old played in a career-high six games last season, completing 59.4% of his passes for 731 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Cleveland selected Thompson-Robinson in the fifth round of this year's draft. He won the No. 2 quarterback role with an impressive preseason.
Watson's injury comes at a poor time. He's coming off his best game as a Brown and his most impressive performance in three years. In Cleveland's 27-3 drubbing of the Tennessee Titans last week, Watson completed 27 of 33 passes for 289 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Sunday's Browns-Ravens game is a pivotal matchup for Cleveland. The Browns are in a very early three-way tie atop the AFC North. Cleveland has already dropped one divisional game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, which share the AFC North lead with the Browns and the Ravens.