When Will Browns QB Deshaun Watson Return During the 2022 NFL Season?

by Suzanne Halliburton
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that quarterback Deshaun Watson has followed all terms of his suspension and will be cleared soon to play.

So when should Browns fans expect to see their new quarterback in action? He’s on track for Dec. 4. And to add a bit of drama — as if any is needed — Watson’s Browns face the Houston Texans on Dec. 4. That’s Watson’s former team.

“He’s followed all of the terms of the agreement,” Goodell said of Deshaun Watson as the NFL owners meetings came to a close. The owners met this week in New York.

Houston Traded Deshaun Watson to Browns in March

Back in March, about a month before the NFL draft, the Texans and Browns reached a deal that sent Watson to Cleveland. The Texans sent the quarterback and a sixth-round draft pick to the Browns for three first-round draft picks, a third and two fourth rounders.

About two dozen women accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct while the women were giving him massages. He settled 23 of 24 cases out of court. There still are two active lawsuits against him. Two Grand Juries in Texas declined to indict him for criminal charges.

Deshaun Watson signs autographs after a preseason game Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

NFL Suspended QB in August After Browns Sent Mayfield to Panthers

In mid-August, Watson learned that he was suspended for 11 games. Plus, he paid a $5 million fine. With Deshaun Watson on the bench, the Browns have struggled, going 2-4. Watson played in preseason games, but that’s it.

The team traded starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, the one-time top pick of the draft, to the Carolina Panthers a few days before the start of preseason training camp. Jacoby Brissett now starts for the Browns. And his play has been far from perfect. He ranks 29th in the NFL in quarterback efficiency. He suffered three turnovers in the Browns’ loss last Sunday to the New England Patriots.

Watson’s suspension resulted from a settlement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association after the league appealed the six-game suspension originally imposed by Sue L. Robinson, the former U.S. district judge who is the disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA. The league had sought an indefinite suspension of at least one full season based on allegations of sexual misconduct.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has complied with the terms of the settlement that resulted in his 11-game suspension under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday. That suggests Watson remains on course to be reinstated to play for the Browns in a Dec. 4 game at Houston against his former team, the Texans.