While Deshaun Watson will miss the Browns game in Week 6 against the 49ers, he might be in action for Week 7 against the Colts. Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

To this point in his time with the Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson is no stranger to criticism.

But he likely didn’t expect it to come from one of Northeast Ohio’s other professional teams.

But after Watson told reporters on Thursday that he was unsure whether he’d be healthy enough to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the Lake County Captains took the opportunity to poke fun at the Browns’ polarizing quarterback. In a video posted to its X (formerly Twitter) account, the Captains — who are the High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians — dubbed audio from Watson’s press conference over a skit involving two mascots goofing off, using text to infer that the quarterback is faking his injury.

In subsequent posts, the Captains — who are owned by Alan Miller and former NFL punter Jon Ryan — continued to mock Watson’s injury situation.

The Captains’ posts come as Watson continues to recover from a shoulder injury that was suffered in the Browns’ Week 3 victory over the Tennessee Titans. After missing Cleveland’s next two games — which were sandwiched around a bye week — Watson returned for the Browns’ Week 7 win over the Indianapolis Colts, but was pulled after suffering a big hit and completing just one of his first five pass attempts and throwing an interception.

After missing Cleveland’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday, Watson returned to practice on Wednesday but told reporters a day later that he wasn’t sure whether he’d be healthy enough to play vs. Arizona. The Clemson product also admitted that he had “jumped the gun” by returning prematurely to face the Colts two weeks ago.

While the Guardians and Captains operate as separate entities, it’s interesting nonetheless to see a local minor league affiliate make light of Watson’s injury. That just goes to show the level of frustration that exists within the fanbase in Northeast Ohio after the Browns acquired Watson and gave him a fully guaranteed contract amid several violations of sexual misconduct, which ultimately resulted in an 11-game suspension in 2022.

[Lake County Captains on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.