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Browns QB Watson ‘can’t put a timeline’ on return

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Browns QB Watson ‘can’t put a timeline’ on return

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BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson said Wednesday that he “can’t put a timeline” on a return from a rotator cuff strain to his right, throwing shoulder.

Watson, who did not practice Wednesday, has missed Cleveland’s past two games and hasn’t had a full practice since Sept. 22. He said that it’s still “up in the air” whether he’ll be able to play Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts.

“We just gotta continue to take it day-to-day,” said Watson, who added that an MRI revealed a “microtear” in his rotator cuff muscle. “I’m not gonna put the team in jeopardy if I can’t do certain things that is gonna allow us to be handicapped in certain situations. That’s the reason why I haven’t been able to step on the field.”

Watson said with the rotator cuff injury it’s been a “difficult thing throwing the ball” to his full ability. He suffered the strain Sept. 24 on a running play during a 27-3 win over the Tennessee Titans, Watson’s best game of the season.

He said doctors didn’t diagnose the injury until Sept. 30, the day before Cleveland’s 28-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Watson tried to throw during pregame warmups but ultimately was ruled inactive. He said a second opinion confirmed the injury.

After a Week 5 bye, Watson also sat out Sunday’s 19-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Although he hasn’t practiced, Watson said he has thrown some in recent days but also has had to “take some days off” to avoid “doing too much.”

“It’s a tricky deal,” he said. “You gotta kind of take that baseball approach and talk to some people that deals with rotator cuffs more often. So that’s what we’ve been doing and just really trying to strengthen that muscle and everything around it so we can get back comfortable.”

PJ Walker started for Watson on Sunday and led the Browns on a game-winning field goal drive in the fourth quarter. Walker will start again against the Colts if Watson is ruled out for a third straight game.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Watson said, “I want to be on the field.

“I’ve seen people talking about, ‘Go out there and play.’ But if I can’t control the ball, then I can’t throw it and there’s no benefit of me being out there.”

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