QB Deshaun Watson (10.26.23)

How frustrated are you by the current situation? 

“What situation?”


With just being injured in and out?

“I mean, all I can really do is control what I can control. That right now is just rehabbing, trying to come back as strong as possible as soon as I possibly can, and that’s all I can really do right now.”


Did you rush it last week? 

“I don’t know. I mean, the time limit for usually rotator cups are four to six weeks. I felt during the week that I had the opportunity to play right at that kind of three-week, four-week mark. I just didn’t have the strength and things like that to be able to go out there and play a full, complete game. So, the medical staff, Kevin (Stefanski), decided to pull me out so I don’t do anything worse to it.”


When are you hoping to play again? 

“I mean, as soon as possible. As soon as possible. We just got to go through the process again and rehab and get back with the docs and try to strengthen it as much as possible and get the pain away and try to get back on the field.”


Do you think playing last week set you back in your recovery? 

“I’m not sure. I’m not sure if it did or if it didn’t. At the same time, I wasn’t 100% last week, so I just try to, like I said before, go through the game, go through the process of seeing if I can make the throws, make the plays. I thought I was ready, wasn’t ready, and at the time I took a hit, I took a blow right to the same area. Once I hit the turf on that last play that I was laying down, same situation, boom, hit that. So, I was a little shocked.”


You looked good on Friday, like you were throwing with velocity when we were watching you out there. Are there days where it feels good and days where it doesn’t? 

“I mean, I wouldn’t sit here and say I was feeling perfect on Friday. I was pushing through it because I’m a competitor, but I felt like I had enough. But at the same time, though, you got to realize the reality. The reality in practice is very controlled, especially Friday. You call it Fast Fridays for a reason. And the fact that you can’t put in until you actually go out there is on Sunday’s, bullets is flying, you got to be able to react and not think about each throw and not know where you’re going to throw the ball and how you’re going to throw the ball and the velocity, the speed, the tempo, all that stuff. So, we got a little taste of it in three or four drives, series. And yeah, at the end of the day, it just wasn’t right.”


When they came out to look at you, I guess you cleared a concussion test or whatever. At what point, though during that evaluation, did the shoulder become a concern and not a potential head injury? 

“The concern was the shoulder from the jump. I didn’t know about the concussion until I went in the second jump, so spotted from up top, and the lady came down, and that’s when I came out, then I went back in. That’s when we did the concussion thing. I was surprised, too. I didn’t know that it was a concussion. The whole time when I was down and the docs came over, we were speaking on the shoulder, so, yeah, I cleared that. Then I tried to go back in, Kevin (Stefanski), AVP (Alex Van Pelt) and the docs came over and spoke to me, and I wanted to go back in, but it’s a team decision, and I felt like, of course, being a competitor I want to play and can try to push it through. But at the same time, like I said before many times, what’s going to be the best situation for the team? And 10 (PJ Walker) was the best situation.”


I see things written that perhaps maybe you that you don’t want to play. So can you just address the notion? 

“Why wouldn’t I want to play? I just worked my ass off for two years to get back to playing. So why wouldn’t I want to play? This is what I’ve been doing since I was six years old. So why wouldn’t I want to play? I see the same things. I see all the narratives. This, that, the third. I mean, all that stuff is just trying to cause controversy and commotion. I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m not happy with the injury, but I’m in a great space mentally. I’m in a great space spiritually. Physically, everything else is in a great space except my shoulder. So we’re working hard to get that back. But, yeah, why wouldn’t I want to play? I don’t do this for no other reason, so yeah, I see that, too. I see the whole contract situation and all that stuff. Yeah, that stuff is just for people to talk, and it’s create narratives.”


Some speculate that you might not even want to play for the Browns, like, you might be looking for somewhere else to go. 

“Why would I do that?”


I’m not saying it. I’m just saying that someone national threw that out there. 

“I mean, none of those national people know me. They don’t talk to me. Why would anybody listen to any of that stuff? All that speculation, if it ain’t coming from me, then all the other sh*t is bullsh*t.”


You thought it was important to talk today because there’s just so much stuff swirling around. Did you want to address it even in a week that you’re not starting normally? 

“No, not at all. I mean, the one week I didn’t talk was a situation where I was doing something about my shoulder, and I was with doctors and stuff. Then it came out that I wasn’t playing. This is nothing against you guys but even in Houston, it wasn’t like a set day that I was going to talk and things like that. I guess it’s a big deal here, so as long as your speak, your interview in throughout the week, that’s what I’m used to. So, this is the first time where I guess if I don’t speak on Wednesdays, it’s a big deal. So, I’m going to speak as many times as I can, once a week at least unless I’m told otherwise, or I have something else to do on the medical side.”


Has anyone through this process suggested surgery or said that at the end of season you might need surgery? 

“No, sir.”


With the residual swelling, is that something that has been lingering since you originally did this, or did that swelling that’s in there right now come from the hit and the fall that you took in Indy? 

“No, it was from the original hit. You have to remember, too, you hear doctors, and you hear people. I think I mentioned last week, too, is this injury is more like, you got to look as a pitcher, as a thrower. Usually, pitchers don’t take collisions also. You got to remember, too, I got hit hard. It’s like a car crash. So that’s going to create more swelling than just getting pulled back or just throwing and it just strain itself. So, there’s other stuff that kind of factor into the bruising and the swelling around the rotator cuff.”


I remember last time we spoke to you, you had mentioned that MRI came the Saturday before the game because the swelling had to go down and that’s when they found the micro tears. Is it the same situation right now where the swelling has to go down a little bit for them to take another look at it just to make sure everything’s okay? 

“No. We got an MRI on Monday. Not that I know of. It wasn’t too much swelling, Again, like I said, I hit the turf, caused the reaction, and it was just the best situation that I just rest the rest of the game and this week, and just get back to the drawing board and get the treatment in and try to build that strength around it.”


During the Bye week. Andrew Berry said that he thought this was going to be a short-term issue, wasn’t going to linger for very long. Is that still the case now that we are three weeks down the line and it’s still unclear when you’re going to come back. Are you concerned that this injury is going to linger with you throughout the entire season? Because the truth is you are going to get hit once you come back. 

“Well, yeah, but at the same time throughout those weeks that I’m not playing, I am doing strength worth and building a muscle around it. So, I’m not sure if it’s going to linger or if it’s not, but in the situation right now, it’s more of just being able to control the ball and things like that. Like I said before, I try to push through the pain. He asked me about Friday. Friday was a sharp, controlled day. But it’s not that I didn’t have any type of resistance throwing the football. So, at some point, whenever I do get back out there, I might, I might not I’m not sure this is the first time I’m dealing with it. So, I’m just taking it as it comes and controlling what I can control. But right now, we’re not in a space where I should be out there right now.”


So it’s possible you’re going to come back at some point not be 100%, and have to still kind of work through this. 

“Of course, but I don’t think anybody is going to be 100% throughout the year. So regardless of if you’re healthy or if you’re not healthy, once you get to November, December, January football, no one is 100% healthy. So, I’m trying to get to a percentage where I can go out there and be very beneficial for this team and win a lot of games.”


Do you feel like you’re on the same page with the team as far as this week, deciding to let you focus on rehab? 

“Of course. We all just came together, and there’s no negative vibes or negative energy with this team, with this locker room or anything. We’re 4-2. This energy in this locker room and this team and the coaching staff and front office. We’re in a great space. We enjoy our victories. We don’t care how we get them, as long as we get those W’s. And we keep it pushing, we keep it going. So it’s always the next man up and all the other stuff, outside noise, we don’t pay attention to.”


Did you try to throw this week since Sunday? 

“Here and there a little bit, but you got to take steps. You can’t just jump, where where we want to be right now. So they’re doing a lot to pretty much hold me back from not trying to throw too much and do certain things, so I just got to follow the steps and go from there.”


Going off of that, you’ve played injured in your career before for all the fans that are kind of giving you flack, can you explain how this is different  than from other injuries that you’ve suffered in the past? 

“Yeah, you hit it right on the head. I played with injuries before. Being a quarterback, you have to throw the ball. I have a blessed ability to be able to run the ball and extend plays and things like that, but every quarterback don’t need that. If it was my left shoulder, then I can still use my right shoulder, but since I can’t use my right shoulder and that’s my throwing arm, it’s hard to direct balls. It’s hard to get the ball where I want it to get to past a certain amount with a certain velocity while defenders is running around. So, it’s the one thing that I need to play the position at a high level especially. So, like I said before, it’s like asking a receiver without a hamstring to go run. That’s crazy.”


With everything that’s happened in the last two years, long layoff, and now thid. How have you been able to stay in a good headspace? 

“I’ve been good. I’ve been staying true to me. I’m very secure in myself, not in an arrogant way, but I know who I am and that’s how I’ve been able to stay sane and stay true to me. But  most importantly is, I know my Lord and Savior and I stay close to him. I stay close to the ones that love me, the ones that really support me, and I just focus on that, and all the other stuff, if you speak negative or things like that, I just stay away from it. I just stay in my own lane. I don’t bother nobody. I go to work, I do what I need to do. I love being around my teammates and this organization, and I just stay focused on that.”


You said you weren’t ready, those were your words. Did you know that as soon as you threw that first pass to Jerome Ford?

“No, not at all. You know that was the first play of the game. A lot of quarterbacks do that. They miss a hinge or miss a slant early on. I mean, it’s the first play of the game, so Jerome was going the opposite of the way we were actually running. The defendant was coming, and instead of a ball popped up or something like that happening, it just went right at his feet and went on to the next.”


So when did you know you weren’t ready?

“At the end of the day, I got hit and the injury was there. So, it wasn’t like an injury where I got hit and, oh, I can just play through it. It was a painful injury during that process when were under the tent, so that’s when we just knew it wasn’t time.”


That four-to-six-week time frame that you initially told us about last week, is that the same as it was originally or did the clock reset at all when you took this new hit in Indy? 

“I mean, the four-to-six-time range, I think that’s a generic timeline for just the normal just rotator cuff. And I think I’m saying that because that’s what the research says. That’s what doctors typically say for pitchers and baseball guys and all the research that we’ve did. But it can be longer. I don’t know. We just don’t know. Until the staff, the medical staff, ill the coaching staff, till myself feel very comfortable that I can go out there and be the quarterback people saw against Tennessee. Then we just got to take it day by day. And I think that’s what Kevin’s (Stefanski) been saying. That’s what he’s been trying to say. There’s no certain timeline on certain injuries. Some people’s bodies react differently. Some people, the way they come back react differently. So, it might be shorter, it might be longer. That’s why I said it could be tomorrow, it could be next week. I don’t know. We just have to take it day by day.”



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