The Houston Texans will face their former franchise quarterback when he returns from an 11-game suspension.
It is a small world after all, and it will be on full display when the Houston Texans host the Cleveland Browns and their new quarterback Deshaun Watson in Week 13 on Sunday, Dec. 4 at noon CT at NRG Stadium.
That’s right, the first game back for Watson — the former franchise quarterback of the Texans — will be against the same team that drafted him. Watson’s suspensions come “after he was accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage sessions,” according to a report by ESPN’s Jake Trotter.
Deshaun Watson is also being fined $5 million by the NFL, all of which is going to charity. Originally, Watson was suspended for six games, but following an appeal by the NFL, there was an agreement of an 11-game suspension of Watson, meaning following the Browns’ bye week in Week 12, Watson will be facing the Texans at the former stadium he called home from 2017-20 as he didn’t play in the ’21 season.
So for the first time since the ’20 season, Watson — whom the Texans drafted 12th overall in ’17 — will return to the NFL where it started. You honestly can’t make this stuff up, as the NFL and Watson just happened to pick a random number of 11 games for a suspension.
We also shouldn’t forget Watson didn’t want to be a member of the Texans following the ’20 season as he was a member of the team that went 4-12 during the season which saw Bill O’Brien be fired, which essentially was the start of the rebuild.
Deshaun Watson had success with Houston and is probably the best QB in team history
With how everything has transpired with Deshaun Watson since the last time he played for the Texans, it is safe to say there will be no “warm” and “fuzzy” memories when it comes from the former QB1 of the Texans.
Even before all of his off-the-field problems, Watson didn’t want to be with Houston anymore, and his representatives were asking for a trade. Even if Watson led the NFL in passing in ’20 during his final season with the team, he didn’t want to be a part of the rebuild, and it seemed like the new front office didn’t want him to be a part of the team either.
In his four-year tenure with Houston, Watson passed for 14,539 yards with 104 touchdown passes, 17 rushing touchdowns and 36 interceptions.
Maybe the legacy of Watson for the Texans isn’t his on-field success with being a passing leader or even being a very good football player for the franchise, it is what he brought to the Texans when he was traded to Cleveland. Watson while in Houston was 28-25 in the regular season as a starter, and 1-2 in the playoffs, according to Pro-FootballReference.com.
General manager Nick Caserio gained a lot of draft capital for Watson, including Cleveland’s first-round picks in 2022 (Kenyon Green), 2023 and 2024, plus other picks in those drafts. The trade was described as “historic” by many, and to be honest, it could be the reason Houston becomes a very strong team in a couple seasons.
Watson no longer being a part of the Texans was the best thing to happen for the franchise, and he can now take his talents to Cleveland and compete in the very tough AFC North.
Though there will probably be some mixed emotions for some when Watson makes his Browns debut in Houston against the Texans, hopefully by then the new QB1 in Houston — Davis Mills — and the rest of the team have some momentum and play a really solid game of football against their former quarterback in Week 13.