Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was in a walking boot following Cleveland’s 33-31 comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, but it doesn’t appear to be a serious matter. Watson, who played through a left ankle injury, expects to be ready to go against the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday in a pivotal AFC North matchup in Cleveland.
“I’ll be fine,” Watson said, via Zac Jackson of The Athletic. “I’ll be ready to go.” Watson added that he got his ankle re-taped at halftime and knew he’d go back in.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) November 12, 2023
Watson’s first pass of the game was picked off by strong safety Kyle Hamilton and returned 18 yards for a touchdown. Watson rebounded after the pick-six and finished with 213 yards passing, 37 yards rushing, a touchdown and a 74.8 quarterback rating. After starting the game 6 of 20 for 79 yards, Watson was 14 of 14 for 134 yards with a touchdown in the second half.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski called Watson a warrior for battling through the left ankle injury in the second half. All-Pro edge rusher Myles Garrett also gave his quarterback high praise.
“Guys a dawg and we’ve known that for a long time now,” Garrett said of Watson, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Kept on trying to tell y’all once he hits his stride, he’s going to be back to his previous ways. We’re just seeing another glimpse into what he can be and who he is. And I think he’s just going to continue carry that momentum throughout the season because he’s special.”
The Browns have been looking for this type of performance from Watson. This is why they gave him a fully guaranteed $230 million contract in the 2022 offseason, which also involved surrendering three first-round picks to the Houston Texans in the blockbuster trade. Watson told the Cleveland media that he was locked-in during the second half.
“When I came (into the locker room at halftime) to get looked at, I just wanted to make sure I locked-in. And this was going to be a big win for myself because I didn’t want to let my teammates down,” Watson said. “I knew that I had to put a lot more on my shoulders than what I should have because we put ourselves in a hole. but I was ready and prepared for that moment. I didn’t fear anything and just focused on one play at a time, and that’s what we did.”
Watson’s left ankle injury is something to keep an eye on throughout the week. It appears that it won’t hinder him from playing against the Steelers on Sunday, however.