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Browns Deshaun Watson out vs. Ravens; Dorian Thompson-Robinson will start at QB: Sources


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Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will not be active against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday due to a shoulder injury, according to team sources. Here’s what you need to know:

  • With Watson out, rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson — a fifth-round pick out of UCLA who had a strong start to the season — will make his first career start.
  • The Ravens’ defense will now face a QB with strong run ability. Baltimore spent some time watching Thompson-Robinson over the weekend of the preseason to see how he handles a four-man rush.
  • Since 1999, Browns rookie quarterbacks making their debut are a combined 0-11 with nine touchdown passes and 14 interceptions in those games. No Cleveland rookie QB has won his debut since Eric Zier in 1995 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Browns tight end David Njoku, who suffered burns to his arms and face from a fire pit accident, will play against the Ravens, according to a team source. The team was concerned about his comfort wearing a helmet under the burns.

The athleteReal-time analysis:

The Browns plan with Thompson Robinson at QB

With Thompson-Robinson starting on Sunday, PJ Walker will be the backup. Wide receiver Elijah Moore is an emergency player who will likely line up at quarterback in Wildcat sets or throw the ball on trick plays.

Thompson-Robinson had never thrown to Browns starters until this week. Joshua Dobbs was the No. 2 shortstop during the spring and summer before the Browns traded him to the Cardinals in late August. Thompson-Robinson’s impressive preseason showing gave the Browns enough confidence to make the rookie fifth-round pick their backup. — Jackson

Dramatic story

Watson had a big third-quarter touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in Week 3, but it’s unclear if it was a single hit or a combination of hits. He finished the game against the Giants, completing 27 of 33 passes for 289 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

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In a roughly 20-minute early warm-up on Sunday, there wasn’t much to see of the midfielder. Watson stretched, ran and made a few throws with Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and general manager Andrew Berry watching. But there was no extended throwing period, and after Watson reunited with Stefanski and Perry briefly, Stefanski and Perry left the field.

Watson was listed as a participant in limited practice all week but only made a handful of throws.

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(Photo: Cooper Neal/Getty Images)

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