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Cleveland Browns

Watson out for season

Good thing yesterday's wide receiver factoid wasn't about Amari Cooper. Things look pretty shaky for Cleveland's No. 1 and the rest of the Browns' receiving corps going forward, with Deshaun Watson headed for surgery, and done for the year.

Apparently the shoulder injury Watson has been dealing with for most of the season involves a broken bone. I haven't read every story yet, but it seems to not reflect well on the Browns' medical staff. Either he's been trying to throw the ball for the past month with a fractured bone or it just cropped up (in addition to the other issues that sidelined him for multiple games). Whatever the case, no more Watson this season.

In a surprise move (surprising to those of us who first wrote up Watson and then wrote up P.J. Walker this morning, only to have to scrap both articles), Cleveland is going with UCLA fifth-rounder Dorian Thompson-Robinson as its starter. This is fair in the sense that Walker looked bad for 3-plus starts, while the rookie only looked bad for one.

But it's a negative for a great receiver like Cooper and a good one like Elijah Moore. Potential positive (or at least neutral): David Njoku.

Here are those receivers in their one game with Thompson-Robinson starting. Keep in mind that not only is it a small sample set, but he was facing the Ravens, so a really tough matchup.

Amari Cooper61160
Elijah Moore42200
David Njoku76460

Njoku, then, was fine, which is encouraging. Thompson-Robinson had no success going to Cooper, and Moore also didn't do much. Moore isn't starting in most leagues anyway, but Cooper has been.

Since I think it's only 50-50 whether Thompson-Robinson stays in the lineup, here are those players' numbers with Walker.

Amari Cooper841080
Amari Cooper82220
Amari Cooper116890
Elijah Moore74190
Elijah Moore74590
Elijah Moore52300
David Njoku43240
David Njoku95540
David Njoku84771

With Walker, you got 2 good games out of 3 from Cooper. Not much out of Moore. And two good games out of Njoku, too. Just 1 TD from the three of them in three games. Not great, Bob.

Going forward, seems like Njoku should be fine to use, and Cooper is a guy you'll have to choose your spots with. And hope that Thompson-Robinson is better than he was in his one start, or that it's Walker back in the lineup before long.

--Andy Richardson

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