Deshaun Watson has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone in his throwing shoulder.
Watson amassed a 5-1 record in six games played through Week 10 this season. He missed a month of time earlier in the campaign with a rotator cuff injury.
With his season now over, Watson will have played just 12 games between the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
In 2023, he has 1,115 passing yards, seven passing touchdowns, and four interceptions on a 61.4 completion percentage. That's his second-lowest completion percentage in a season, above only the 58.2 mark he posted last season.
Watson led his team to wins over the Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, and Baltimore Ravens. He threw five passes in the Browns' 39-38 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7.
He also quarterbacked the Browns in their 26-22 Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For the Browns, this is an inopportune time to lose their franchise QB. The team is 6-3 and half a game back from the first-placed Baltimore Ravens, who the Browns beat in Week 10 on a game-winning field goal.
The Browns also have the joint-best record of any AFC team that's not leading their division, tied with fellow AFC North team the Steelers.
PJ Walker and Dorian Thompson-Robinson have split backup duties during Watson's absences this season. Walker has played more and has played better than Thompson-Robinson, but neither will fill head coach Kevin Stefanski with much confidence.
In five games - two of which were starts - Walker has a 49.0 completion percentage on 98 pass attempts for 618 yards, one touchdown, and five interceptions. Thompson-Robinson has a 54.1 completion percentage on 37 attempts for 130 yards, no scores, and three interceptions in three games, one of which was a start.
The Browns have eight games left this season: home against the Pittsburgh Steelers, away against the Denver Broncos, away against the Los Angeles Rams, home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, home against the Chicago Bears, away against the Houston Texans, home against the New York Jets, and away against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cleveland is 6-3 this season, and their over/under for total regular season wins is now 10.5. They are -175 to make the playoffs.
Odds mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.