BEREA, Ohio (AP) — P.J. Walker will start in place of injured Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson on Sunday when Cleveland hosts the undefeated San Francisco 49ers.
Watson is missing his second straight game with a right shoulder bruise that has prevented him from throwing the ball with enough velocity to play. Watson didn’t practice all week and was officially ruled out Friday by the Browns.
Walker, who was signed to the practice squad in August, was elevated to Cleveland’s No. 2 quarterback earlier this week. He leapfrogged rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who started for Watson on Oct. 1 and had a rocky NFL debut in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Walker went 4-3 in seven starts over the past three seasons for the Carolina Panthers. He played at Temple.
After Watson sat out two weeks ago, the Browns were confident he’d be back on the field following their bye. But the 28-year-old hasn’t been able to practice with the injury he sustained on a run against Tennessee on Oct. 24.
The team has maintained Watson did not suffer any tears and that his shoulder is structurally intact.