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Steelers Rival Set to Return Starting QB



Browns QB Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 18, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Cleveland Browns will get starting quarterback Deshaun Watson back this Sunday for their Week 9 home game against the Arizona Cardinals, meaning he should be good to play against the Steelers in two weeks.

Watson has been dealing with a shoulder injury first suffered in Week 3 that has had him in and out of the Cleveland lineup.

Watson finished that game against the Tennessee Titans, but was unable to play the following week against the Baltimore Ravens, when he was replaced by rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

He was also unable to play after Cleveland’s bye against the San Francisco 49ers on Week 6, when veteran P.J. Walker was called up from the practice squad to start. Watson returned to action in Week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts, but after being examined for a concussion, he was cleared for the concussion protocol but remained on the sideline.

The situation was clarified last week when Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Watson suffered a subscapularis strain in the rotator cuff of his throwing shoulder. That strain has caused pain and impacted his ability to throw with top velocity and pinpoint accuracy.

Watson was limited in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday this week, but was a full participant in Friday’s practice and will suit up against the Cardinals.

The Browns traded three first-round picks and three other draft picks to the Houston Texans for Watson in 2022 and then proceeded to sign him to a five-year, $230 million contract that was the largest contract in NFL history at the time and still holds the record for most guaranteed money.

Since then, Watson has played in just 10 games because of suspension and injury. He missed the first 11 games of 2022 with a suspension stemming from the multiple sexual assault allegations levied against him while he was with Houston.

In his Cleveland tenure, Watson is 6-4 with a 79.8 passer rating. He’s thrown for 11 touchdowns, compard to eight interceptions.


Overall AFC North AFC Head-to-head
Ravens 6-2 2-1 4-2 CIN 1-0, CLE 1-0, PIT 0-1
Steelers 5-3 2-0 4-2 BAL 1-0, CLE 1-0
Browns 4-3 1-2 2-2 BAL 0-1, CIN 1-0, PIT 0-1
Bengals 4-3 0-2 0-3 CLE 0-1, BAL 0-1


Week 9
Sunday, Nov. 5, 1 p.m. Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, Nov. 5, 1 p.m. Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, Nov. 5, 8:20 p.m. Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals

Week 10
Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 11
Thurs., Nov. 16, 8:15 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, Nov. 19, 1 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns