Deshaun Watson "on track to start" in Browns' opener against Cowboys after season-ending injury

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson "on track to start" in Browns' opener against Cowboys after season-ending injury

Deshaun Watson's injury nightmares might be finally over if reports from the Cleveland Browns' OTAs are anything to go by. The former Pro Bowler took reps at the Browns' facility in May, and he looks to be "on track to start" in the team's season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Browns offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey marveled at Watson's form during recent individual drills at the team's facility. Watson is in his sixth month of recovery from a shoulder injury that prematurely ended his 2023 season.

"You see him continue ramping it up a little bit more and more each day, Dorsey said. "He threw the ball down the sideline, a vertical throw today, and that's one I hadn't seen from him a lot. We haven't pushed him to do it, so that was good to see. The more he grows and feels comfortable with it, the more you’ll start seeing those things get ramped up more and more.”

The offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns has been here before. In 2017, he witnessed Cam Newton recover from a similar injury while with the Carolina Panthers.

"We had to make sure we’re monitoring distance of throws, and couldn’t go past a certain yardage,” Dorsey said. “How many throws he’s making that practice, all those things were basically throughout the entire year.
"So I think where (Watson’s) at right now is kind of in that process. And as he gets more and more comfortable and part of that’s just the mental side of things too that, ‘Okay, I can start really open it up more and more because of the confidence."

Deshaun Watson's injury history

Deshaun Watson has suffered a few injuries since entering the NFL. His first notable injury came on December 25, 2019. Watson suffered a lower back lumbar sprain ahead of the Week 17 game against the Tennessee Titans.

Watson stayed relatively injury-free for the next few years before suffering a torn shoulder rotator cuff in his throwing arm in a Week 3 game against the Titans. He returned to action in Week 7.

Last but not least, Deshaun Watson reaggravated his throwing shoulder in his return game against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7. He returned to the gridiron in Week 9 and featured in two more games before being diagnosed with a fracture in the arm. He was subsequently shut down for the rest of the 2023 season.

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