INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WJW) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson made his first start in nearly a month Sunday at Indianapolis then left in the first quarter with what appeared to be a right arm injury.
Team officials announced he was evaluated for a concussion and cleared, but he did not return to the game as he avoided doing much with his throwing shoulder.
Watson was hit in the chest as he threw a third down pass against his body. He was hit by Colts defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo and driven hard into the ground as his head appeared to bounce hard off the turf.
Watson stayed down for several minutes before walking off the field and into the medical tent. He was replaced on the next series by P.J. Walker and then entered the tent a second time between quarters.
Following the game, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski did not have a big update on his $230 million franchise quarterback, other than to make clear he plans to stick with him and that it was a tough decision to keep him sidelined for the rest of the game.
“He’s our starter moving forward,” Stefanski said. “He’s our starter in Seattle. It’s always going to be my decision to protect our players.”
Stefanski also didn’t comment on if Watson was going to practice this week, saying he would update reporters later.
Watson, who also spoke with the media, said it was Stefanski’s choice to keep him out of the game even if he would have liked to get back out there. “I understand where he’s coming from though,” he said.
Watson, too, was not forthcoming about when exactly he’d be seen back on the field, saying he wasn’t sure if he’d be starting in Seattle.
Watson was 1 of 5 with 5 yards and one interception before leaving Sunday’s game.
Watson was making just his fourth appearance of the season after missing two games and the bye week with a strained rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. He hadn’t played since Sept. 24.
On Thursday, Watson returned to practice for the first time since Sept. 29, then was a full participant in Friday’s practice.