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QB Deshaun Watson does not practice on Wednesday

HC Kevin Stefanski said that P.J. Walker will be the backup quarterback Sunday against 49ers

Watson wednesday Oct. 11

QB Deshaun Watson continues his recovery process for a right shoulder injury and did not practice on Wednesday. He spent Wednesday rehabbing.

Watson was inside for Monday's practice working through his rehab, and he continues to be day-to-day as the Browns prepare to face the 49ers on Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Stefanski said that they will continue to see how the week progresses before there is a decision on Watson.

Stefanski also officially named P.J. Walker as the backup quarterback for Sunday. Walker took reps on Wednesday with Watson not outside at practice.

"Just felt like it was the right decision for the team," Stefanski said of naming Walker as QB2. "I think P.J.'s been here now for a month plus getting a better understanding of what we do. But just felt like it was the right decision for the team."

Walker – who spent time as the backup quarterback for the Panthers and was a part of their roster from 2020-22 – brings a level of NFL experience at quarterback. He's played in 15 games over his career, playing in six during the 2022 season where he threw 63-of-106 for 731 yards and three touchdowns. Walker took over as the starting quarterback when Baker Mayfield was injured in Week 5 in 2022.

Stefanski believes that Walker's game fits with the Browns. He sees a level of talent and referred to when Talker was coming out of college at Temple, seeing him as an athletic player with strong arm. He's also intelligent and can throw to different areas of the field. Those elements of his game fit with the Browns.

If Walker has to start on Sunday, Stefanski said they have to find ways to get him easy completions and get into a rhythm early in the game. They also can run plays that Walker is comfortable with.

"He's won some games," Stefanski said. "Obviously P.J.'s not 40, but he's played in some games. He's been around a little bit. He's played in different systems. So, he's getting comfortable with what we do here. He's got a great demeanor, great way about him. He fits in well with the team. But really just if P.J. does end up playing, you're just looking for him to be the best version of himself."

Rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson – who earned his first career start in Week 4 against the Ravens when Watson was determined inactive – understood the decision behind naming Walker as the backup. Thompson-Robinson struggled in his first start, as the Browns lost to the Ravens 28-3. He threw 19-of-36 for 121 yards and three interceptions. He was also sacked four times. Thompson-Robinson took reps behind Walker on Wednesday.

"Dorian's a young player, very excited about his future," Stefanski said. "He's a young player, but he's a great teammate, so he's going to support who's ever in there and he's got to be ready to play. As you guys know, you got to always stay ready."