Watson participated in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices ahead of Sunday’s game and spoke with reporters following the latter session, giving the same vague responses regarding his health after two straight tests of his injured rotator cuff.
“I mean, it’s getting better each and every day. The arrow’s going up,” Watson said on Thursday. “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.”
Watson’s ongoing shoulder problem has driven local media members to pay close attention to otherwise irrelevant details, such as perceived velocity of passes thrown by Watson in practice, especially after his attempts clearly lacked adequate zip in his brief showing against Indianapolis. The results are intentionally inconclusive — Cleveland has no obligation to reveal any hard data on how hard Watson can throw the football — but the quarterback did admit he believes resting last week may have improved his chances of taking the field in Week 9.
“I guess it did. The biggest thing was they didn’t want to put me in the spot where I re-injured the shoulder,” Watson said. “So there’s a fine line that you got to play with, and you just got to make sure you’re doing all the stuff that you need before you can go back out there.”
The Browns have kept details to themselves throughout most of this process, leaving media members to rely almost solely on the brief time they’re allowed to watch Watson participate in practice during the week, and on the Friday injury report. Watson was expected to appear on the report with a questionable designation, but the lack of designation suggests he’s in the best possible condition since he first suffered the injury.
We can now officially expect Watson to play Sunday. How he fares will tell us just how healthy he truly is.