Who Is Dorian Thompson-Robinson? Browns Rookie QB Making Start in Deshaun Watson’s Absence

After Browns QB Deshaun Watson was placed on season-ending IR with a shoulder injury, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson was named starter.

After a devastating blow to the Cleveland Browns when Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, the team has been forced to decide the quarterback position.

The Browns have opted to start Dorian Thompson-Robinson ahead of P.J. Walker for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson To Start for Cleveland Sunday

Cleveland’s QB1 Watson is out for the rest of the 2023 NFL season with a shoulder injury. The Browns announced Wednesday that Watson will undergo season-ending surgery on a broken bone in his throwing shoulder.

“Deshaun Watson underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Monday on two injuries sustained on different plays in the first half of Sunday’s 33-31 win over the Baltimore Ravens,” the team said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Imaging on his left ankle revealed a high-ankle sprain. In addition, postgame, Deshaun notified our medical staff of a new discomfort in his right shoulder that he felt after a hit in the first half. An MRI of his right shoulder revealed a displaced fracture to the glenoid.

Deshaun will be placed on season-ending injured reserve, and a full recovery is expected for the start of the 2024 season.”

In the meantime, rookie Thompson-Robinson will take the reins as he earned the starting nod over veteran PJ Walker.

The 2023 fifth-round pick has appeared in three games, throwing for 130 yards and three interceptions on 37 attempts. In the preseason, Thompson-Robinson passed for 440 yards and two touchdowns in four games.

Thompson-Robinson’s lone start came earlier this season as he completed 52.8% of his passes for 121 yards, no touchdowns, and three interceptions. The disastrous performance handed the team a 28-3 loss.

After the loss to the Ravens, Walker led the team to win over the 49ers despite completing only 52.9% of his passes for 192 yards and two interceptions.

The team defeated the Colts by a point under Walker as he completed 46.9% of his passes for 178 yards and an interception. He threw two more interceptions in the loss to the Seahawks the following week.

Walker has led the team to wins this season, but head coach Kevin Stefanski still opted to start Thompson-Robinson.

Stefanski hopes that preparing for his start this week will be beneficial.

“Yeah, I just felt like, as you know, every week you’re trying to just make the best decisions you can for your team,” Stefanski said. “I want to give him a week where he knows he’s the starter. He gets a full week of preparation.”

When asked what makes him confident that he will be better than he was in that Ravens game, Stefanski said, “Young players need exposure. You get better in practice. Sometimes you get better through games.”

Thompson-Robinson is also confident that he will play better this time around.

“I know what to expect now,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Unlike many other people out there, I’ve been in an NFL game, so I’m not stepping out there for the first time. I’m not just going out there wide-eyed anymore.”

When asked if the decision to start Thompson-Robinson over Walker is due to Walker’s high number of turnovers, Stefanski said no.

“I would tell you with P.J., he’s still a guy that we’re counting on,” Stefanski said. He’s done a great job in the meeting room on the practice field, as you mentioned has led us in these games. He has to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Just felt like this was the right decision for the team right now.”

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