Deshaun Watson has a lot to prove to a lot of people, and it has nothing to do with his play on the field.
As long as he is in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns quarterback must have team-approved massage sessions with approved therapists, which is part of the settlement he reached with the NFL over the summer.
It was back in August when Browns GM Andrew Berry said the team had a “plan in place” for Watson’s massage appointments.
On top of that, Watson won’t be able to just go through the motions during his treatment. In fact he has to get the green light in order for his suspension to get lifted.
- “He must participate in treatment and have clinicians say “he’s on the right path” in order for the suspension to be lifted, according to one source. One important point, I’m told he could very well be cleared to play after the 11-game suspension but still be required to go to treatment. Three sources told me this could indeed go beyond Dec. 4 when Watson presumably takes over as the starting QB against his former team, the Texans.”
Albert Breer laid out the plan for Watson to stay prepared for his eventual return.
“Deshaun Watson will start working this week toward Week 13. My understanding is that ahead of Watson’s suspension, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and quarterbacks coach Drew Petzing worked with Watson’s throwing coach, Quincy Avery, to come up with an individualized plan, and throwing scripts, to keep Watson sharp while he’s away from the team.
That plan will be enacted this week by Avery and Watson who, for the time being, and until Watson’s allowed in the building, won’t be allowed to have contact with Browns coaches or anyone else with the team. As I’ve heard it, Watson and Avery will conduct sessions to include field drills, film and board work four days per week, and that’ll go for the next five weeks, with Watson allowed to return to the Browns’ practice facility Oct. 10, and begin practicing five weeks after that Nov. 14, ahead of his Dec. 4 return to the game field.
At least on paper, that looks like plenty of time for Watson to get reacclimated, though it’s fair to ask how rusty he’ll look after about 23 months without playing in a real NFL game.”
Watson is now serving an 11-game suspension for allegations of sexual misconduct during massage therapy appointments dating back to 2020. He has settled 23 of 24 civil lawsuits against him.
Watson cannot have contact with any Browns personnel until Oct. 10th.
He’s then able to return to the team facility to attend meetings and work individually with the strength and conditioning staff.