Report: Deshaun Watson Cleared To Return To Cleveland Browns Practice Facility

NFL: Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The first step for Deshaun Watson’s path to returning to NFL football has been reached. The Cleveland Browns quarterback has cleared to return to the team’s practice facility on Monday. While Watson isn’t permitted to participate in team practices as of yet, he is allowed to attend meetings, meet with non-football staff members and personally meet with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski. He’s also allowed to meet with quarterback coach Drew Petzing and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt.

Stefasnki says he has not had any contact with Watson since his suspension began back in August due to coaching staff and front office members being restricted from doing so by the league. During his suspension, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport states that Watson has been doing workouts with his personal coach Quincy Avery every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The goal is to simulate how team practice is conducted through game week. Watson reportedly practices for approximately an hour and a half each day with Division II college level receivers at a gym in the state of Ohio. Coach Avery had some high praise for the receivers when speaking to about how Watson’s personal practices are being handled.

“They run good routes and give him a good look. We do it basically like we would if he was there (with the Browns). So, the first two days we go full pads, then the last day in helmets — whatever the team would be wearing that day.”

Watson will be permitted to return to team practice on November 14th, with eligibility for reinstatement on November 28th. Watson would be eligible to return to action week 13 against his former team the Houston Texans. Watson is serving an eleven-game suspension for alleged sexual misconduct against several women. During the NFL’s investigation, the league learned that Watson had been accused civilly by more than twenty women for sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. Of those 20+ women, only ten of them had officially filed a complaint with the police.

Two grand juries decided not to recommend charges be brought against Watson. However, the NFL proceeded with its own internal investigation into the matter. The investigation against Watson led to the quarterback initially being suspended by the NFL’s disciplinary officer, Judge Sue L. Robinson. However, the NFL wanted Watson to serve a suspension longer than six-games and had been pushing for a one-year indefinite suspension. Ultimately, both parties came to a compromise. In addition to the suspension, Watson was fined $5 million.

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