As the NFL continues to investigate Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, the league insists that his availability for games in 2022 was not a factor in creating Cleveland’s schedule for next season.
The NFL unveiled the entire 2022 schedule on Thursday night and the Browns have a bye week in Week 9.
NFL insider Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports thinks that could be a hint as to how the league will handle a potential Watson suspension.
“Remains to be seen when Deshaun Watson will make his regular-season debut, and how long he will be suspended, but I can’t help but wonder if a Week 9 bye is any sort of indication,” he said, via CBS Sports. “They face the Bengals on a Monday night in Week 8.”
If Watson does get suspended, the Browns could turn to Baker Mayfield who is still on the roster as the team continues to fail in finding a trade partner.
Watson is facing 22 active civil lawsuits concerning sexual harassment and assault during massage therapy sessions. The lawsuits describe accounts that range from Watson refusing to cover his genitals to “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.”
There are no trial dates currently set for any of the 22 active civil cases.
The 26-year-old was recently traded to Cleveland and signed a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed deal—a record-setting contract that became the largest guaranteed contract in league history.
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