Watson beginning Browns’ preseason opener as suspension looms

Watson beginning Browns’ preseason opener as suspension looms

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Deshaun Watson’s debut for the Browns is tentative and topic to alter.

The identical is true for his first season in Cleveland.

Watson is scheduled to begin the exhibition opener — his first sport motion since 2020 — at Jacksonville on Friday whereas the quarterback waits to see if the NFL succeeds in protecting him off the sector for all the season.

The three-time Professional Bowler is dealing with a possible year-long suspension and high-quality from the league for alleged sexual misconduct towards two dozen ladies whereas he performed for the Houston Texans.

Final week, an unbiased arbitrator suspended Watson for six video games, however the league wasn’t glad with the choice, appealed and is hoping for a a lot lengthier punishment as nicely as a major high-quality and that he endure remedy earlier than being thought of for reinstatement.

That call is anticipated quickly.

Within the meantime, the Browns are planning to see Watson play in a sport. They don’t seem to be positive after they may get to once more.

For now, Watson’s scheduled look towards the Jaguars might be his first in a sport since Jan. 3, 2021, his last one with the Texans.

The 26-year-old Watson sat out final season after demanding a commerce and earlier than he was accused of assault and harassment by the ladies throughout therapeutic massage remedy classes he scheduled on Instagram.

Watson has denied any wrongdoing. Two separate grand juries in Texas declined to indict him and he settled 23 of 24 civil lawsuits.

The Browns determined to maneuver on from 2018 No. 1 total choose Baker Mayfield, traded three first-round picks to the Texans and signed Watson to a five-year, $230 million contract in March regardless of his authorized entanglement.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski plans to play Watson and “most” of Cleveland’s starters towards the Jaguars. The crew didn’t get any extra particular about Stefanski’s plans earlier than flying to Florida.

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson stated Wednesday that quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville starters will play “a pair collection.”

In fact, it is nonetheless doable Watson will not play towards the Jaguars.

Watson and the Browns thought he would solely miss six video games after league disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, a retired federal decide dominated the quarterback violated the league’s private conduct coverage. She additionally mandated that he schedule future massages to solely team-approved therapists for the remainder of his profession.

Nonetheless, the league, which has been pushing for an indefinite suspension and high-quality, felt Robinson’s penalty was too gentle and appealed on Aug. 3.

Watson’s taking part in future is now being determined by Peter C. Harvey, appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to deal with the attraction. Harvey’s a former New Jersey Lawyer Common who has arbitrated different league circumstances and is a member of the NFL’s Range Advisory Committee.

There is no such thing as a timeframe on a call from Harvey.

On the proprietor’s conferences on Tuesday, Goodell stated the league’s attraction was warranted primarily based on the league’s personal investigation and Robinson’s ruling.

“As a result of we’ve seen the proof,” Goodell instructed reporters. “She was very clear in regards to the proof. She bolstered the proof, that there was a number of violations right here they usually have been egregious, and that it was predatory habits.”

Robinson discovered that the league proved its case that Watson violated three provisions of the conduct coverage: sexual assault as outlined by the NFL, posing a real hazard to the protection and well-being of one other and undermining or placing on the league’s integrity in danger.

Watson has taken a lot of the snaps throughout coaching camp. The Browns have deliberate to begin veteran Jacoby Brissett whereas Watson is out, however the crew may discover bringing in anther QB if Watson is suspended for double-digit video games or longer.

Stefanski had the Browns journey two days early for his or her preseason opener as a result of he has undisclosed crew bonding actions deliberate.

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