Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry said Wednesday that suspended quarterback Deshaun Watson will start the first game he’s eligible, which looks to be on Dec. 4, in Houston against the Texans. Watson continues to serve an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Watson can’t begin practicing until Nov. 14, but will be eligible to play in Week 13 when the Browns travel to face the Texans. Watson has been allowed to participate in team meetings since October 10th, meet individually with coaches and work out at the Browns’ training facility. Said Berry: “It’s been great to have him back in the building. He’s been focused on working on himself, he’s stayed in great shape, he’s been a part of the meetings. He’s done everything and more that’s been asked of him. We’ll be excited to have him when he can continue to ramp up football activities and get back on the practice field.”
On Aug. 18, the NFL and NFL Players Association reached a settlement on Watson’s 11-game suspension, after he was accused by more than two dozen women of sexual assault and inappropriate sexual misconduct during massage sessions. Watson was fined $5 million and has had to undergo a mandatory treatment program. Watson agreed to settle 23 of the 24 lawsuits against him over the summer, but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He has yet to do an interview since reentering the team’s training facility.
The Browns are just 3-5 headed into their bye; Watson’s replacement Jacoby Brissett has been impressive, posting the eighth-best QBR (60.7) in the NFL this season thus far.
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