Deshaun Watson has returned to the practice field for the first time since August 30th, 2022. Based on the terms of Watson’s settlement agreement he is cleared to practice. However, he still has two games left on his current eleven-game suspension.
As part of the agreement, Watson was to be permitted to return to the Browns practice facility on limited bases after six games. He was able to attend team meetings and team workouts. He could not watch or take part in practices. Deshaun Watson will be cleared to play as long as all continues to go well on December 4th, 2022. Ironically that game is against his former team the Houston Texans.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski stated that the first chance Deshaun is able to start a game for the Browns he would do so. As well general manager Andrew Berry, even more, stated that Watson will start when he is eligible to.
Cleveland is currently 3-6 over their first nine games of the season. Prior to the Miami Dolphins game, there was optimism on the end of Cleveland for a late playoff push. Nevertheless, the Browns lost to the Dolphins in an underwhelming performance and playoff hopes look bleak. Crazier things have happened a possible win-out scenario is possible. The Browns are still only 2-1 in the AFC North division. Being only a half-game behind Baltimore and Cinncinatti could help.
While Deshaun Watson was out head coach Kevin Stefanski has shown glimpses of what he can do when Watson does return. Offensively the Browns are top ten in the NFL while backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett has started. Cleveland Browns players are excited about the return of Deshaun Watson. From recent reports, coaches are excited as well. The Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said “it was great seeing Deshaun practicing again”. He even said that “Deshaun made some throws that had him saying that was pretty spectacular.”
During the summer the NFL’s disciplinary officer Judge Sue L. Robinson originally recommended a suspension of six games. However, the NFL itself appealed the six-game recommendation. Rumors stated that the league was pushing for a year-long indefinite suspension. Due to not wanting a drawn-out legal battle between the NFL, NFLPA, and Deshaun Watson. All sides came to an eleven-game agreement.
Two grand juries declined to indict Deshuan on any criminal charges. Therefore, after much back and forth Watson settled 23 of 24 civil lawsuits.
With just two games left on his suspension, Deshaun can play again after almost two years of being inactive. With the majority of his suspension being served Cleveland can now begin looking toward the future. The Browns have gone decades of not having a true franchise quarterback. Cleveland believes they have finally found him. His mere presence on the field will elevate this entire team. Especially on the offensive side of the ball. The future for the Cleveland Browns and Deshaun Watson starts in just two weeks’ time.
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