Browns’ Watson back from NFL ban, clear to start in Houston

Browns’ Watson back from NFL ban, clear to start in Houston

CLEVELAND (AP) — Deshaun Watson will not have a playbook for every thing forward.

Practices, conferences, movie work, handoffs, throwing passes for the Browns will all be simple, second nature. The relaxation: the protestors, the elevated scrutiny and the pointed questions, shall be unwritten.

There is not any plan for the as soon as revered quarterback, now reviled in some circles.

Cleveland’s controversial $230 million quarterback was formally reinstated by the NFL on Monday after serving his 11-game suspension for sexual misconduct. allegations made by greater than two dozen ladies.

Watson’s return was not accompanied by any fanfare, only a posting on the league’s personnel discover.

He’s now the starter once more and set to make his regular-season debut for the Browns on Sunday, coincidentally, in Houston, the place he started his professional profession and shortly rose to stardom earlier than off-field selections knocked him off target.

The 27-year-old quarterback just isn’t beginning from scratch, however anew.

He is returning to the Browns (4-7), who’re clinging to hope that he can lead them to the playoffs regardless of his prolonged layoff.

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski believes Watson, who returned to observe two weeks in the past, is prepared for what shall be his first sport in 700 days – and no matter comes subsequent.

“I have confidence in Deshaun based on his preparation and, really, the focus is just him doing his job,” Stefanski stated a day after the Browns rallied for a 23-17 time beyond regulation victory. in opposition to Tampa Bay. “We’re still going to be about team effort, offense, defense and special teams. So this will never, ever be about one person.

“But as far as Deshaun, I believe in his preparation, I believe he’s worked hard on a number of things to be ready to go.”

In August, Watson ended months of legal wrangling by agreeing to a suspension, a $5 million fine and to undergo professional counseling and treatment after an independent arbitrator ruled he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

Watson was accused of being sexually inappropriate with women during massage therapy sessions. The three-time Pro Bowler has long maintained that he did not molest or assault any of the women, some of whom said he forced them to have sex.

Watson was not indicted on criminal charges by two grand juries and reached financial settlements in 23 of 24 civil suits.

While his return to Houston could be hostile, Stefanski said the Browns weren’t considering delaying Watson’s return. They didn’t send the Texans three first-round draft picks for him to look at.

Their wait is over. It’s time for Watson to be a franchise quarterback.

“Deshaun is going to come in and be Deshaun,” wide receiver Amari Cooper said Sunday. “We have seen that greatness displayed many times. So I can’t wait for him to come back, I can’t wait to practice with him. I can’t wait to catch some balls from him.”


The mocked protection turned in opposition to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

With All-Pro tight finish Myles Garrett main the best way with 1 1/2 sacks whereas enjoying by a nagging shoulder harm, Cleveland’s protection made huge stops when wanted in certainly one of its finest video games of the week .

After giving up a landing in the third quarter, the Browns held the Bucs to 92 yards and compelled six punts.


How about some consistency?

One week, the Browns appear like respectable playoff contenders. Next, they’re nearly fully incompetent.

Stefanski has been puzzled by his crew’s incapability to string collectively good quarters, not to mention good video games. But Sunday’s efficiency — together with Watson’s return — may give the Browns the proper shock heading into December.


Starting in place of Greg Newsome (concussion), rookie cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. had an incredible sport.

He was credited with 4 cross breakups and did not permit Bucs large receiver Mike Evans to catch the seven passes aimed toward him with Emerson in protection.


Freshman kicker Cade York missed his sixth subject purpose try, this one a 39-yarder that had no probability.

York transformed on a 51-yarder, however the Browns had been relying on higher manufacturing from the fourth-round decide. Stefanski needed to converse with York earlier than making any feedback in regards to the newest blunder.


Garrett may barely dress after aggravating a sprained left shoulder suffered two months in the past when he flipped his automobile whereas dashing. Garrett admitted he may have surgical procedure, and it isn’t out of the query that the Browns may give him every week off to relaxation. … CB AJ Green is in concussion protocol after throwing a deal with in the primary quarter. … Stefanski stated Newsome, who has missed the final two video games, is trending towards a comeback.


218 — Brady’s streak in video games his crew has led by seven factors or extra with two minutes left. The Browns ended that streak by scoring with 32 seconds left in regulation and successful with 19 seconds left in OT.


The Watson period begins in opposition to the hapless Texans (1-9-1), who may very well be the proper opponent for him to shake off any rust.


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