CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Deshaun Watson will start for the Browns at Jacksonville Friday night as another day passes by with no resolution to the NFL’s appeal of his six-game suspension.
The league has not communicated to the Browns that Watson would not be able to play against the Jaguars a source told 92.3 The Fan.
If Watson were to be suspended for the entire 2022 season, Watson would not be allowed to play or participate in any team activities.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that Peter C. Harvey, the former attorney general of New Jersey designated by commissioner Roger Goodell to handle the appeal of discipline handed down by Sue L. Robinson, would not announce his ruling on the league’s appeal Friday meaning this will drag on into next week.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that Watson would be willing to accept an eight-game ban and fine of up to $5 million.
At the NFL’s owner’s meetings in Minneapolis Tuesday, Goodell explained why the NFL remains steadfast in seeking an indefinite suspension of Watson with a year minimum.
“Because we’ve seen the evidence,” Goodell told reporters. “[Sue L. Robinson] was very clear about the evidence. She reinforced the evidence, that there was multiple violations here and they were egregious, and that it was predatory behavior.”
Robinson ruled that Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy in three ways – sexual assault as defined by the NFL, endangering another person, and compromising the integrity of the league – amid an avalanche of allegations of sexual misconduct by Watson during massage therapy sessions.
Watson settled 23 of the 25 lawsuits filed against him with one case still pending and another dropped earlier this year after a judge ruled the plaintiffs must use their names in court filings.
The Houston Texans also settled 30 lawsuits alleging the team enabled Watson’s alleged behavior.
The NFL believes Watson violated the conduct policy three different ways and the four different therapist's cases they presented to Robinson constitute separate offenses.
In addition to the six-game suspension, Robinson directed Watson that any massage therapy he seeks for the remainder of his NFL career must now be coordinated and supervised by the team that employs him, in this case, the Browns