So what exactly is Deshaun Watson’s status with Browns during his suspension? His suspension started on August 30th and he is currently listed on the Reserved/Suspended by Commissioner list. To see how we got to this point, click here.
Can Watson practice? Is he able to be in the Browns facility? Can he contact the Browns coaches/personnel? No to all those. Let’s break it down as it is pretty confusing.
The Suspension Terms
Watson’s suspension began on August 30th and extends through the first 11 games of the 2022 season. He is not permitted to re-enter the Browns facilities until October 10th which is just after the Browns Week 5 game against the LA Chargers.
Watson can’t participate in on-field activities until November 14th. That is two weeks before his suspension is over. He will be available to be reinstated on November 28th, which is after the Browns’ Week 12 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
‘Available to reinstated’ is a key distinction. If Watson does not comply with the terms of the suspension, which includes counseling, the suspension may not be lifted at that time. Per NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, “This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan,” and “a third-party behavioral expert” will handle the evaluation and treatment plan. If Watson doesn’t comply, “his reinstatement could be delayed,” which opens the door to a suspension that is longer than 11 games.
If we assume all goes according to plan and Deshaun complies with his treatment plan, his first game back would be Week 13 against his former team, the Houston Texans. Which is wild.
To recap, Watson’s suspension began on August 30th. He is unable to be with the team till October 10th at which time he can be in the Browns facility but unable to practice. Watson can start practicing on November 14th. Assuming Watson completes all aspects of his treatment, he can play in the December 4th game against the Texans.
Personally, I find the fact that Watson is not allowed to be with the team during his suspension, to be odd. I get it, he is suspended, but he is also being rehabilitated, which creates a conundrum. Is pushing a player away from the team, the coaches, and other team employees the best course of therapy?
Former Browns wide-receiver Josh Gordon was also suspended from the Browns and it appeared that he struggled from the lack of structure that caused. I’m not comparing the two situations per se, but it does seem that the NFL could set up a system where the player can still receive that structure and team assistance during their suspension.
Nevertheless, Watson can’t play for the Browns until their game against the Houston Texans on December 4th. The Browns need to keep the ship afloat until his return, which will be a challenge.
What do you think Watson should focus on during his suspension? Can the Browns survive their first 11 games without him? Tell me below and as always, keep it respectful Browns fans!