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Browns QB Deshaun Watson to resume throwing next month following season-ending shoulder surgery

FILE - Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Indianapolis. Watson will resume throwing next month following right shoulder surgery that cut short his second season with Cleveland after just six starts. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will resume throwing next month following right shoulder surgery t hat cut short his second season with Cleveland after just six starts.

Watson, who fractured a bone in his throwing shoulder in a win over Baltimore on Nov. 12, has been cleared to throw in a few weeks, general manager Andrew Berry said Tuesday at the NFL combine.

“He has worked his tail off in terms of rehab and recovery,” Berry told reporters in Indianapolis. "He’s in a really good place. We’re excited when the spring hits and we can get him back on the field, but he’s making really good progress and we’re excited to see that continue.”

Watson's 2023 season ended after he got hurt w hile mounting a comeback win against the Ravens. Despite hurting his shoulder and playing on a badly sprained ankle, Watson completed all 14 passes in the second half as the Browns rallied for a 33-31 win.

Watson's injury was not initially thought to be serious, but an MRI revealed that he fractured his glenoid (socket) bone and needed an operation.

The 28-year-old Watson has made just 12 starts for the Browns, who acquired him in a blockbuster trade from Houston in 2022.

Cleveland sent three first-round draft picks to the Texans for Watson, and convinced him to waive his no-trade clause by giving him a fully guaranteed $230 million contract.

After Watson's injury, the Browns signed veteran Joe Flacco, who revived his career and led Cleveland to just its second playoff appearance since 2002. Flacco went 4-1 as a starter, threw 13 touchdown passes and was voted the AP Comeback Player of the Year at NFL Honors.

It's unlikely the Browns will re-sign Flacco as a free agent, but after what the team endured last season in starting four quarterbacks, Berry said depth at QB is a must. Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson was Watson's primary backup last season before getting hurt.

“Quarterback will always be a high priority for us,” Berry said. “From one to three, what that room looks like as we get into the summer, that I’m not sure yet. It’ll largely just depend on who’s available and at what cost.”

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