Things were starting to look up for Deshaun Waston. He was beginning to hit his stride the past two games before he suffered a shoulder injury that will force him to miss the rest of the year. This means the Jacksonville Jaguars won't see Watson when they play the Cleveland Browns in Week 14. But even without their star quarterback, the Jags can expect an easy matchup.
The Browns announced Wednesday that Watson suffered an ankle sprain and a broken bone on his throwing shoulder in Week 10. An MRI revealed a displaced fracture and will undergo season-ending surgery. Cleveland beat the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday and is now 6-3 for the year.
With Watson out for the year, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson is the next man up behind center. Thompson-Robinson appeared in five games with two starts this season, going 20-of-37 for 130 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. While there's a steep dropoff from Watson to Thompson-Robinson, the Browns remain in the thick of the playoff race thanks to a defense that ranks sixth in points allowed and first in total yards in the league.
Watson had sat out several games this season with a shoulder injury. While the Browns medical staff had seemingly cleared him, he said he wasn't comfortable playing, so they held him back until he was ready. He was starting to put it all together before getting hurt. The past two weeks, he completed 60.9 percent of his throws for 443 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. In the prior four games, he had a 61.6 completion rate for 683 yards with four touchdowns and three picks.
A first-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2017, Watson quickly established as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. However, he had lost interest in playing for the Texans in 2021 and requested a trade that year. He also got embroiled in controversy for off-field allegations of improper behavior. The Georgia native was shipped to Cleveland in 2022. He served a ten-game suspension to start his tenure with the Browns and finished the year with less-than-stellar numbers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will play a Cleveland Browns team fighting for their playoff hopes
Leaving aside your opinion of Deshaun Watson, it's never good to see a player go down. That said, that's something the Cleveland Browns will need to deal with. The Jacksonville Jaguars for their part must focus on bouncing back after an embarrassing loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10.
Before the Jags take on Cleveland though, they must take care of business and come out of a tough slate that includes the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, and Cincinnati Bengals with as many wins as possible. The Week 14 bout would be pretty much winningless for Jacksonville if they go 1-2 the next three games.
But even with Dorian Thompson-Robinson at the helm, the Jaguars can't afford to take the Browns lightly. Although he lost his first lone start, he should be more comfortable and acclimated to the Browns offense by the time he faces off against Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Jaguars must go back to what they were doing early in the season and fix the mistakes that have been holding them back. If they do, they'll then should get to Week 14 in great shape.