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Deshaun Watson leaves Browns as NFL suspension begins

At 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 preserve Watson away from the Browns till Oct. 10.

Watson was positioned on the reserve/suspended by commissioner checklist shortly earlier than observe began as the Browns finalized their preliminary 53-man roster on cut-down day. Wearing a baseball cap, Watson emerged from the crew’s facility just a little after 3 p.m. EDT, obtained in his automotive, and drove away. 

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

A 3-time Pro Bowler, Watson agreed to sit down out 11 video games, pay a $5 million nice and bear necessary remedy and counseling earlier than he can rejoin the Browns. As lengthy as he meets the necessities of the NFL settlement, he’ll be eligible to play in Week 13 — on the street in opposition to the Houston Texans.

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

During the suspension, Watson can’t have contact with Browns personnel.

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

“I feel it’s an incredible alternative for him proper now whereas he’s away from this constructing to go work on soccer, work on himself and work on a bunch of various issues,” Stefanski stated.

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

“I do know he’s going to be away right here for a few days a minimum of to begin,” Stefanski stated. “I feel he has a very good plan. Obviously, we are able to’t direct it and we are able to’t observe up with him. It’s actually no contact with him till Oct. 10. I’m assured that he has an excellent plan to do some good work whereas he’s away from the constructing.”

Watson has all the time denied any wrongdoing, and he maintained his innocence shortly after agreeing to the settlement labored out between the NFL and NFL Players Association following the league’s enchantment of his unique six-game suspension.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reporting by Associated Press.

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