Deshaun Watson out for the season, Steelers matchup vs. Browns just got a bit easier

This is a huge blow to the Browns (and a massive break for the Steelers in Week 11).
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns are coming off an impressive 33-31 come-from-behind victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10. Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson wasn't perfect in this contest -- throwing for just 213 yards with a touchdown and an interception -- but he did enough to help his team emerge victorious.

Now Browns fans just got some devastating news. The organization announced via Twitter that Watson requires season-ending shoulder surgery. This will effectively end his 2023 campaign prior to facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11.

In addition to shoulder surgery, an MRI on Watson's knee revealed that he was also dealing with a high ankle sprain. The surgery to his shoulder was necessary to avoid further structural damage, but Watson is expected to make a full return at the start of the 2024 season.

As up and down as the former Pro Bowl quarterback has been, this is awful news for Cleveland Browns fans. The organization forked up excellent draft capital and handed out the only full guaranteed contract in league history to Watson last year.

So far, they certainly aren't getting their $230 million worth out of their franchise quarterback. Watson has spent most of his first two seasons with the Browns either injured or suspended, and with how much investment the team has in him, there is no possible way they can even think about moving on.

Steelers catch a huge break in Week 11 with the Deshaun Watson news

While this is a big blow to the Browns -- who had one of the league's best defenses this year -- it's a huge break for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike Tomlin's team took down the Browns early back in Week 2 at Acrisure Stadium, but it was a narrow 26-22 defeat that required a pair of defensive touchdowns from Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt to get the job done.

This time around, Tomlin can't rely on his defense to bail out his underwhelming offense. The fact that Watson isn't suiting up doesn't mean that Myles Garrett and company won't be just as dangerous as they have been all season.

Still, the Steelers lucked out getting to go against P.J. Walker this week. Walker is the 38th-ranked QB out of 38 players who qualify for a grade this year, according to Pro Football Focus. His 30.8 overall grade is in a tier of its own at the bottom of the league.

The Browns are probably kicking themselves right about now for trading Josh Dobbs just before the start of the season. Dobbs has arguably been more impressive than Cleveland's $230 million quarterback this year despite extremely difficult circumstances.

The Browns have injuries to their offensive line and losing Deshaun Watson could create a field day for T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. These are two 6-3 teams in the AFC North, and the outcome of this game will have lasting implications down the stretch this season.