BEREA — The Cleveland Browns announced that P.J. Walker will start Sunday’s game at Seattle hours after announcing he was signed again off the practice squad.
Head Coach Kevin Stefanski announced Wednesday that Walker will start at quarterback in place of Deshaun Watson.
He is dealing with some residual swelling in his shoulder after he took a hit in the first quarter of Sunday’s win at Indianapolis. Watson also hit his head on the play and was evaluated for a concussion. He was cleared but did not return.
“I just feel like with what happened in the game landing on his shoulder, there’s residual swelling that’s affecting his throwing,” Stefanski said. “I think it’s the best thing for him to rest this week and focus on the rehab. I will always make what I think is the best decision for our football team, for Deshaun, and I feel like this is the best decision for this week.”
He added there is no structural damage to Watson’s shoulder, but there is residual swelling, based on the MRI, and that’s why Stefanski said he wants him to focus on rehab.
Watson is expected to travel with the team to Seattle for Sunday’s game.
“He’s going to do everything he can to support his teammates,” Stefanski said. “He’s a captain of the team. He provides great leadership, so he wants very badly to play, but just this week it makes sense to focus on the rehab.”
Cleveland also signed Walker to the active roster on Wednesday.
He had been elevated from the practice squad the three previous games and had thrown 370 yards in two starts.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson will be the backup quarterback this week against the Seahawks.
Cleveland’s next game will be Sunday afternoon when they play the Seattle Seahawks.
Game time is at 4:05 p.m. at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington.
The game will be broadcast on 1290 and 95-7, WHIO Radio.
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