After serving an 11-game suspension, Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is participating in practice for the first time since the ban
The Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Deshaun Watson participated in practice for the first time since his 11-game ban for violating the league’s personal-conduct code began on August 30.
Watson and quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who has started every game for Cleveland this season, would share practice repetitions, but head coach Kevin Stefanksi would not elaborate on how that would work.
Stefanksi informed reporters on Thursday that Deshaun may start practicing immediately after Wednesday’s walkthrough. “There’s no need for me to go into detail about the number of repetitions he’s doing. It’ll be beneficial to have him participate in practice among his other players.”
Prior to this week, Watson had not been allowed to practice due to the rules of the settlement agreed between the league and the NFL Players Association after an appeal of Watson’s first six-game ban. Prior to the 10th of October, Watson had access to on-site rehab with the medical staff, meetings, and one-on-one sessions with select coaches.
Watson was suspended for six games in August after disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson found “by a preponderance of the evidence” that he had committed “sexual assault; conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person; and conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL.” The allegations against Watson stem from massage therapy sessions, and more than 20 women have come forward to accuse him of inappropriate behavior.
While continuing to prepare Brissett for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, Stefanski said on Wednesday that the organization does not have a “handbook” for reintroducing Watson to practice.
Stefanski added, “For us, we’re simply trying to make smart judgments for the team with the facts available to us.” “Deshaun is free to return to training. Yes, go to that. So, he’ll get some game time, but Jacoby will be starting. Like he does every week, [Brissett] is going to give this game all he’s got. There has been no change in his preparation. Nothing has changed in the way I prepare with him.”
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Stefanski mentioned Watson’s summer work with the squad as valuable practice time for Watson to review before getting back into game action. When Watson is well enough to play again, the Browns will send him back into the lineup for Week 13’s matchup against the Texans.
“I believe he has a lot of repetitions he can depend on, and he can watch the film of him running plays that he’ll be asked to run when it’s time for him to play,” Stefanski said. But the most pressing concern is getting Jacoby game ready for Buffalo.