Deshaun Watson is officially getting set to start his post-Houston Texans era. The quarterback, who was acquired by the Cleveland Browns in a blockbuster trade during the offseason, was suspended for the early part of the regular season. He has apparently undergone all of the the treatment and rehabilitation that the NFL thinks was required.
Now, Deshaun Watson will take the field for a Browns team that is going to need a miracle if it wants to compete for a playoff spot. According to Pro Football Talk, the Browns have said that the plan is for Watson to replace Jacoby Brissett as the starting quarterback once he’s eligible to play.
That of course means that should the team stick to the plan, the first time that the quarterback returns to the field in a regular season game since 2020 will be against the Houston Texans. One has to wonder if that was the plan by the NFL all along.
It doesn’t seem like the NFL would want that particular story to be the focus. After all, there have been plenty of people who don’t agree that the Houston Texans should have been able to trade its star quarterback for any real return at all.
There’s also plenty who believe he shouldn’t be playing at all. The NFL likely doesn’t want the focus to be on just why he was suspended for the first 11 games of the season. But it’s likely going to be the focus whether they want it to be or not.
What’s clear is that what kind of performance Deshaun Watson is going to have in his first game back is going to be in the background. The star quarterback was suspended for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. He was accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women and he has settled more than 20 civil lawsuits filed against him.
Because of his raw talent, he’ll still get to take the field against the Houston Texans next weekend.