Deshaun Watson was officially reinstated on Monday (Nov. 28) and will start for the Cleveland Browns in their upcoming Sunday, Dec. 4 game against his former team, the Houston Texans. The 27-year-old missed 11 games due to being suspended for breaking the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Specifically, 24 women filed civil lawsuits against the Pro Bowler, alleging that he engaged in sexual misconduct while receiving massages. The Clemson University graduate was able to confidentially settle 23 out of the 24 suits after previously denying any wrongdoing and two grand juries refusing to indict him.
The former Houston Texan’s suspension cost him $5.69 million which, along with an additional $2 million donated between the quarterback and the NFL, went into a fund to support the prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, among other things. “This fund will support the work of non-profit organizations across the country that educate young people on healthy relationships, promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, support survivors, and related causes,” the NFL said back in August.
This is a welcome return for the Browns, who are currently 4-7 under the leadership of Jacoby Brissett. Having lost Odell Beckham and Baker Mayfield over the years, their playoff hopes were low. Fortunate for Cleveland, Watson had previously led the Texans to playoffs berths in 2018 and 2019 and led the league in passing in 2020. Time will tell whether he will be able to give the Browns the boost they need to make a postseason push, but kicking things off against his former team will surely add some motivation.