Browns chief executive Andrew Berry confirmed on Wednesday that Deshaun Watson is expected to start the first game he is eligible for after his suspension, against the Texans on Dec. 4.
“It was great to have him back in the building,” Berry said of Watson. “He focused on working on himself. He stayed in great shape. He attended the meetings. He did everything that was asked of him and more.
“We will be delighted to have him when he can continue to step up football activities and return to the training ground.”
The quarterback is currently in the middle of his 11-game suspension but returned to the Browns facility on October 10. According to Cleveland.com, Watson has been training with his private quarterback coach throughout the suspension. He can start training with the team on November 14 and can be reinstated on November 28.
“We spent a lot of time with Deshaun in the spring at camp and racked up a lot of great reps during that time,” Berry said. “That being said, I don’t think our approach is not really a quarterback, but you know, certainly with the time that Deshaun has had, to expect him to take it all on.
“It’s not necessarily how the team is designed or, you know, assembled. I don’t know if that would be a fair request for a quarterback. In a few weeks, we will be in this world where we prepare it to play and we manage it appropriately.
More than two dozen lawsuits detailing sexual assault and sexual harassment have been filed against Watson since March 2021, the last one dated Oct. 13. Only one case was dropped due to confidentiality concerns on April 21, and 20 of the remaining 24 active lawsuits were settled by the end of June 22. He then settled three of the remaining four before the initial disciplinary decision by independent arbitrator Sue L Robinson. These two dozen cases were filed by Tony Buzbee’s law firm.
Although he faced two grand juries, Watson was never criminally charged.
Two months after his suspension was announced, a new lawsuit was filed against the quarterback by a separate firm. He still faces two active cases.
Watson continued to defend his innocence. Despite the new lawsuit, the league said in a statement via its spokesperson after its filing that “Watson’s status remains unchanged. We will monitor the progress of newly filed disputes; and any conduct that warrants further investigation or possible additional sanctions would be addressed in the personal conduct policy.
In Watson’s absence, Jacoby Brissett led Cleveland to a 3–5 start.
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