Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is cleared to return to team facilities today for the first time since his 11-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy came into effect. effective August 30.
From Monday, Watson is allowed to participate in on-site rehab with medical staff, meet with non-football staff, attend meetings and meet individually with head coach Kevin Stefanski, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and quarterbacks coach Drew Petzing. Watson is also allowed to participate in individual workouts with the strength staff and eat meals in the cafeteria.
Watson is still not allowed to attend group workouts. He cannot attend practices or matches and cannot attend club-sponsored events or do media.
Previously, Watson had not been allowed to have contact with coaches, set foot in the building or receive a game plan or playbook, under the terms of a settlement reached between the league and the NFL Players Association following an appeal of the first six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. In handing down Watson’s six-game punishment in August, disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson wrote that “by a preponderance of the evidence”, Watson, alleged by more than 20 women to have committed sexual misconduct during training sessions massage therapy, engaged in “a sexual assault”. ; conduct that poses a real danger to the safety and well-being of another person; and conduct that undermines or endangers the integrity of the NFL.”
The settlement also required Watson to pay a $5 million fine, submit to an evaluation by a clinician jointly selected by the NFL and NFLPA, and undertake regular, mandatory counseling. A source familiar with Watson’s situation says he is on track with those demands.
While suspended, Watson pitched for about 90 minutes at an Ohio gymnasium three days a week (Tuesday through Thursday), doing his best to simulate how team practice works for a game week. The practices, led by his personal QB coach Quincy Avery, include local receivers who played in college – mostly at the Division II level.
“They’re running good runs and giving him a good look,” Avery told NFL.com. “We basically do it like we would if he was there (with the Browns). So the first two days we wear full pads, then the last day with helmets – whatever the team would be wearing that day. -the.”
Watson still has his gear from training camp and the offseason. Avery also designed pitching sessions to utilize concepts and route combinations used by Cleveland. Avery added that he was reviewing the game’s tape to see if the Browns were “doing anything new.”
The Cleveland QB will pitch for 90 minutes, then do physical therapy with his coach and get chiropractic work. On game day, he’ll watch like any other spotter, and then Avery will break down the All-22 film and work on it with Watson.
Watson is cleared to train from November 14. He is eligible for reinstatement Nov. 28 and would first be eligible to play in Week 13 against the Houston Texans, his former team.