QB Deshaun Watson (11.2.23)

How did the shoulder respond to yesterday’s practice? 

“It was good. It was fun. Another work day in the books. It’s just got to keep progressing.”


What chance do you think you have of playing this Sunday? 

“I’m not even sure. Just following the medical protocols, and we’ll just go from there.”


Is there a chance that this is part of the ramp up period to get you out there in practice, or does this mean that since you’re out there in practice, you have a really good chance? 

“No, I mean, it’s part of the process. It’s part of the protocols because you can’t not throw and then go out there and just try to play a game. So, it’s just part of the process, and we just take it day by day.”


Considering the setback you had in the Indianapolis game there, how much more cautious are you going through this process again, coming back? 

“I’m not cautious at all. It’s part of the process. Like I said before, the Indianapolis week was, I think, four weeks. So we try to maximize or minimize how much I need at that time, and now we’re doing our six weeks. So, we just try to just stay the course, stay the process, but follow what the doctors say and go from there.”


Do you have to ice it or anything? When you’re done with practice, what do you do for your shoulder? 

“Just recovery stuff.”


Which is?

“Yeah, just recovery stuff, whatever that implies.”


Did you feel that you had similar velocity on the ball as you did before the Colts game, did it feel a little bit better? How can you describe it?

“I mean, it’s getting better each and every day. The arrows going up. The process has been very, very good, and we’re just steady, just going day-to-day and just making sure that we’re doing everything we can to build that strength and everything.”


Have you tried any kind of different braces or anything? Has there been an experiment and trying different things for support there? 

“No, sir. Not at all.”


How about padding or anything? Because I know you’re worried about taking another blow to the back there do you have any extra padding in there when you do play? 

“No, sir.”


Just in general. Don’t want to assume. How do you feel at this point? 

“As far as health wise?”


Yeah, just getting that shoulder back to what you consider to be 100%, how do you feel in that process? 

“I feel good. The process, like I said before, has been going up. We’re right on track where we need to be for what I feel like. So just communicating with all the doctors and all the coaching staff and make sure we’re doing all the steps that we need to make sure that whenever that time is, I step on the field ready to play.”


Did the week off last week or the week away from practice, I should say, did that give you a big boost? Did that help you significantly try to get back sooner? 

“I guess it did. The biggest thing was they don’t want to put me in the spot where I re-injured the shoulder. So there’s a fine line that you got to play with, and you just got to make sure you doing all the stuff that you need before you can go back out there.”


So if you’re told that on Sunday that, you know what, hey, let’s kind of chill out for another week and maybe try to get back for those two big games against the Ravens and the Steelers. Would you be totally fine with that? 

“Of course I want to play, but like I said before, as long as we’re all on the same page as a player, as a staff in an organization, then I think whatever’s best for the team, the best for the future of this team is definitely what we need to be heading to.”


So is there a hurdle or a test that you feel like you need to clear before you return to the field, whether it’s Sunday or down the road? 

“Yeah, I mean, there’s definitely things in the protocol that we need to clear before we can get back out there on the field, but we just step by step, day by day. You can’t jump in front of that. You just got to continue to take it one step at a time.”


Could that happen by Sunday, though? 

“I’m not even sure. That’s a medical question.”


Is this a decision that could be made Friday, or could you be a game time decision similar to the Baltimore game, Sunday? 

“I’m not even sure. That’s a Kevin (Stefanski) question.”


Nobody knows your body better than you. What percentage are you at right now? 

“I’m not sure. I can’t be given out no percentages right now.”


When you look at those two games coming up after this, I know you guys don’t necessarily look ahead and you try to keep the blinders on, but when you do look at the schedule, you see that you do have those two big AFC North games against Baltimore and Pittsburgh coming up. How does that factor into when you return and what your situation is? 

“I don’t think it does. I mean, right now we’re focusing on Arizona. So I get the question, things like that, but right now we’re locked in on the Cardinals and it’s a big week this week for us to come back home in front of our fans and try to get the W. Whenever that time comes, it comes. But right now it’s truthfully just day to day and see how we feel.”


How will you know that you’re ready to go, like, in your mind, as Tom (Withers) asked you know, your body, but just how will you know when you’re ready? 

“Just one of those deals where you just know. I think we’re all know from myself, from Kevin, from Joe (Sheehan) and the medical staff, from everybody. Everyone seen me when I was healthy, and then they see me when I was at my lowest too. You know, I think if we’re all on the same page, we’ll know.”


How important has it been for you to kind of guide your teammates with the uncertainty, P.J. (Walker) and even Dorian (Thompson-Robinson) throughout these couple weeks that you’ve been dealing with this, how important it’s been for you to be kind of like a mentor for them and still be involved? 

“It’s very important. And whenever the injury did occur, that’s one of the things in the leadership and the captain meetings, that they made sure they all looked at me and made sure that I was making sure that I stay involved, stay engaged. Because guys that’s been in the injury protocol before tend to feel kind of away from the team. But we did a good job of just staying in tune in every meeting at practices, talking with P.J. and DTR and talking with the whole offense. You know, I’ve been around, haven’t missed a beat, and everything’s been going well.”


What did you tell P.J. on Sunday?

“After the game? Keep his head up high. He played a hell of a game. He did what we need to do to have a chance to win. And sometimes the ball don’t bounce our way. That’s the life of the NFL. S**t, that’s life. Sometimes it just don’t bounce our way. You just got to go on to the next one and keep it pushing.”


You mentioned pain last week. How would you describe the pain, the frequency of it, and the kind of pain you were feeling in the shoulder? And how has that dissipated over time? 

“Yeah, it’s been getting better each and every day. And again, just slowly, over and over. I get what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to get me to say some stuff, but we’re not allowed to speak on injuries to that detail.”


Yesterday, amongst the people that watched you practice, there were sort of conflicting interpretations of how the ball looked coming out of your hand. Some people thought the velocity looked good. Other people thought that it didn’t look like you really…?


Who are these people? 



Well, I’m just saying that it…

“If it’s coming from fans, then that’s next question sorry, Mary Kay (Cabot). If it’s not coming from anybody in the front office or in this locker room, it don’t even matter at all.”


Yeah, I guess I’m just asking, was the velocity good? 

“Yeah. Again, it was a good day. It’s been a good week, progressing each and every day, and we just got to keep pushing forward, taking it one step.”


Deshaun real quick. I know there’s a lot of people trying to make this decision together, right? You’ve talked about the cohesion – you, Kevin, the medical staff. Ultimately, how much do you feel this is in your hands when you decide, hey, I think I’m ready, or is that more being dictated to you? 

“Man, we all got to be on the same page. I told the guys that I was ready Indianapolis week, that was my decision. And look, I wasn’t ready. So I tried to jump the gun a little bit, and it didn’t go our way. So at the end of the day, you got to listen to the experts and all the things that they did. It’s my first time dealing with it, so of course I know my body, so I’m keeping track of everything that I’m doing and letting them know what’s going on and what’s good and what’s not good. So I think we all be on the same page and we all feel right when that time comes.”


How do you think the rest of the guys been kind of sticking together and it’s a tough spot not having their franchise quarterback. So how do you think the rest of the guys have done to win the four games here and you haven’t really played?

“They did a heck of a job. Of course, the Baltimore game was – it is what it is that happens. You got to give Baltimore credit. But the other three, we had opportunities. We finished two of them. We didn’t finish one. It came close to it until thr last minute, 40 seconds. So the guys been sticking together. A lot of guys banged up. A lot of guys has been pushing forward and injuries happen. So everybody in this locker room understand this type of injury that I’m dealing with and making sure every time they walk past me, make sure I take care of myself and whenever I’m ready, they understand that I’ll be back out there. So we are locked in on that. They know the competitor and the player and I am and that I want to be back out there and help the team win. But if I can’t be 100 and beneficial for the team, then they understand that, too.”



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