Browns' Deshaun Watson unsure if he'll play Week 9 vs. Cardinals despite returning to practice

Browns' Deshaun Watson unsure if he'll play Week 9 vs. Cardinals despite returning to practice
Browns' Deshaun Watson unsure if he'll play Week 9 vs. Cardinals despite returning to practice
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Deshaun Watson returned to practice for the Browns this week. But that doesn't mean the embattled quarterback will suit up for Sunday's Week 9 game against the Cardinals, with Watson " target="_blank"telling reporters Thursday he's "not even sure" he'll be available.

"I'm following the medical protocols and we just go from there," Watson said. "We just take it day by day."

The former Pro Bowler has missed three of the Browns' last four games due to a shoulder injury. Asked Thursday if he's taking precautionary measures to recover from the lingering issue, Watson downplayed as much without committing to a return timeline.

"I'm not cautious at all," he said. "It's just part of the process. ... It's getting better each and every day. The arrow's pointing up."

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski previously told reporters he'd evaluate Watson's throwing at practice before deciding on a QB plan for Sunday's matchup with Arizona. He notably elected to keep Watson sidelined after the QB took a hard hit early in the team's Week 7 win over the Colts, which was Watson's first game back after a three-week absence that included the Browns' bye.

Watson was similarly vague about his availability ahead of the Browns' Week 8 loss to the Seahawks, in which veteran backup P.J. Walker made his second start of the 2023 season.

"Right now, it's just rehabbing and trying to come back as strong as possible as soon as I possibly can," he said. "I'm not sure if its gonna linger or if it's not. ... We're not in a space where I should be out there."

Walker is slated to make another start in place of Watson in the event the latter isn't active on Sunday. Acquired via trade from the Texans last offseason, Watson's first absence came in Week 4, when he was abruptly deactivated despite being medically cleared to play through a rotator-cuff

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