Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry has confirmed that Deshaun Watson is expected to start for the Browns on December 4. In August, Watson and the NFL settled on an 11-game suspension. When the Browns face the Houston Texans on December 4, Watson will be eligible to suit and play for his team.
Since October 10, Watson has been allowed to participate in team meetings. From November 14, Watson will be allowed to return to practicing with the team. During this whole process, Watson has been working out individually and making sure he is fit and ready when he is allowed to return.
"It's been great to have him back in the building. He's been focused on working on himself, he's stayed in great shape, he's been a part of the meetings. He's done everything and more that's been asked of him. We'll be excited to have him when he can continue to ramp up football activities and get back on the practice field," Berry said, per ESPN.
Berry admits Watson may struggle when he returns
Watson hasn't appeared in a regular-season game since 2020. During this past preseason, Watson played in one quarter of the Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars game. In that game, Watson completed just 1-of-5 of his passes and didn't look anywhere near his old level.
When Watson returns to the Browns, Berry admits it may take time for the quarterback to find his game and rhythm. "Our approach isn't to, really any quarterback, but certainly with the time Deshaun has had off, expect him to shoulder everything.
That's not how the team is designed or put together. And I don't think that would be a fair ask for any quarterback," Berry added. In August, the NFL and Watson settled on an 11-game suspension after Watson was found guilty of violating the NFL's conduct policy my committing se*ual assaults on massage therapists.
Even after Watson agreed to settle with the NFL, he maintained his innocence. "I'll continue to stand on my innocence, just because you know settlements, and things like that happen doesn't mean that a person is guilty for anything.
I feel like a person has an opportunity to stand on his innocence and prove that, and we proved that from a legal side, and just going to continue to push forward as an individual and as a person," Watson said in August.