Deshaun Watson out again for Browns, P.J. Walker to start at quarterback against 49ers


BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson’s shoulder bruise hasn’t healed enough for him to play.

Cleveland’s quarterback Watson will miss his second straight game with an injury that initially didn’t seem serious, and the Browns (2-2) will elevate P.J. Walker from the practice squad to start Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Watson didn’t practice all week and was officially ruled out Friday as his teammates prepared for the Niners (5-0).

Walker, who was signed to the practice squad in August, was elevated to Cleveland’s No. 2 quarterback earlier this week. He leapfrogged rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who started for Watson on Oct. 1 and threw three interceptions in his NFL debut against the Baltimore Ravens.

Walker went 4-3 in seven starts over the past three seasons for the Carolina Panthers. In 15 career games, he’s completed 131 of 228 passes (57.5%) with five touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

After Watson sat out two weeks ago, the Browns were confident he’d be back on the field following their bye. But the 28-year-old hasn’t been able to practice with the injury he sustained on a run against Tennessee on Oct. 24.

The team has maintained Watson did not suffer any tears and that his shoulder is structurally intact.

Also, Browns All-Pro left guard Joel Bitonio didn’t practice again and is expected to miss Sunday’s game, ending his streak of starting 102 straight regular-season games.

Tight end David Njoku returned to practice after missing three days. He’s still recovering from burns to his face and hand suffered when he was starting a fire pit at his house. Despite his injuries, Njoku played two days later and caught six passes in a loss to Baltimore on Oct. 1.



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