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Deshaun Watson and Teammates Excited for His Return

Sports

Amari Cooper and Deshaun Watson | Image by Getty Images

Deshaun Watson is set to make his long-awaited debut for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Watson spoke to the press on Thursday for the first time since his suspension was announced in August.

Expressing how excited he was to be back; Watson thanked the Browns organization and the Cleveland fans for embracing him and helping him to acclimate to the city. He also thanked now backup QB Jacoby Brissett for filling in during his suspension.

Watson only took football-related questions due to legal reasons after the first question aimed at the Browns’ new QB was about his mandatory treatment.

“I’ve been advised to stay away from that and keep it personal,” he responded. “There are only football questions that I can address at this time.”

As for Watson’s teammates, they spoke highly of his talent on Wednesday, noting excitement in the locker room this week to see his imminent return to the field, according to ESPN.

“We’re all excited,” said Browns running back Nick Chubb. “We’ve waited a long time for him to come back.”

Watson just finished serving an 11-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after being accused by 25 women of sexual assault. Out of those, Watson has settled 23 out of court, and another was dropped by the plaintiff.

As reported by The Dallas Express, two Texas grand juries declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year. He also had to pay a record $5 million fine and undergo a mandatory treatment program.

This Sunday marks exactly 700 days since Watson has played a regular-season game and coincidentally will play against his former team.

The Browns traded for Watson in March 2020, sending the Texans three first-round draft picks, and signed Watson to a five-year contract worth $230 million guaranteed, the richest deal in NFL history.

When asked how Watson has looked in practice recently, running back Nick Chubb explained, ”He’s special — he’s a playmaker. He puts the ball exactly where he needs it to go. Guys like that. Guys are excited.”

Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett filled in as the Cleveland Browns QB in Watson’s absence, leading the team to a 4-7 start. The Browns officially added Watson to their 53-man roster on Monday and waived backup quarterback Josh Dobbs.

Talking about Watson, Browns cornerback Denzel Ward said, “He’s a great player. You can’t go wrong with great players.”

“There’s an excitement, for sure,” Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah added. “We know what he can do with what we’ve seen so far. So, looking forward to seeing him [play].”

Sitting in third place in the AFC North, the Browns are still fighting for a playoff berth. The New York Times NFL simulator lists the team as having a 2% chance of making the playoffs.

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