Deshaun Watson leaves Browns as NFL suspension begins

On the identical time his teammates started practising, Deshaun Watson headed off in one other course.

Cleveland’s beginning quarterback started serving his prolonged NFL suspension for alleged sexual misconduct on Tuesday, a punishment that can hold Watson away from the Browns till Oct. 10.

Watson was positioned on the reserve/suspended by commissioner record shortly earlier than follow began because the Browns finalized their preliminary 53-man roster on cut-down day. Sporting a baseball cap, Watson emerged from the crew’s facility slightly after 3 p.m. EDT, bought in his automotive, and drove away. 

He had been required to depart by 4 p.m. in accordance with the suspension he agreed to in an Aug. 18 settlement with the league.

A 3-time Professional Bowler, Watson agreed to sit down out 11 video games, pay a $5 million wonderful and endure necessary therapy and counseling earlier than he can rejoin the Browns. So long as he meets the necessities of the NFL settlement, he’ll be eligible to play in Week 13 — on the highway towards the Houston Texans.

The 26-year-old was accused of sexual assault and harassment by two dozen ladies throughout therapeutic massage remedy classes when he performed for the Texans. He has settled 23 of 24 civil lawsuits filed by the ladies.

In the course of the suspension, Watson can’t have contact with Browns personnel.

Coach Kevin Stefanski met with Watson earlier than the QB’s departure. Whereas not offering specifics of their dialog, Stefanski stated he’s assured Watson will make the time away productive.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for him right now while he is away from this building to go work on football, work on himself and work on a bunch of different things,” Stefanski stated.

Stefanski wouldn’t touch upon whether or not Watson will keep within the Cleveland space through the ban.

“I know he’s going to be away here for a couple of days at least to start,” Stefanski stated. “I think he has a really good plan. Obviously, we can’t direct it and we can’t follow up with him. It’s really no contact with him until Oct. 10. I’m confident that he has a good plan to do some good work while he’s away from the building.”

Watson has at all times denied any wrongdoing, and he maintained his innocence shortly after agreeing to the settlement labored out between the NFL and NFL Gamers Affiliation following the league’s attraction of his authentic six-game suspension.

In reviewing his case, Sue L. Robinson, a former federal choose appointed to deal with league self-discipline, discovered Watson’s conduct “egregious” and “predatory.”

So long as Watson abides by the league’s provisions, he can return to the Browns’ coaching facility roughly midway via his suspension. He can resume follow Nov. 14 and be formally reinstated two weeks later.

Per league guidelines, when Watson comes again he’ll be permitted to obtain therapy from the crew’s medical and athletic employees. As a part of his settlement, any massages should be scheduled by the Browns and solely with club-mandated therapeutic massage therapists.

Stefanski stated Watson plans to work with Quincy Avery, a well known quarterback coach.

Watson performed in Cleveland’s first preseason recreation at Jacksonville, his first stay motion since Jan. 3, 2021, after he sat out final season with Houston. By the point he performs for the Browns, who signed him to a totally assured $230 million contract in March, Watson could have not performed in a regular-season recreation in 700 days.

Jacoby Brissett has moved into Watson’s beginning spot and can attempt to hold the Browns aggressive through the suspension. Brissett, who has made 37 profession begins, can be backed up by Joshua Dobbs.

Reporting by Related Press.

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