The Cleveland Browns had a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday. In a lot of ways, their Week 12 matchup was a pitstop on the way to something bigger, but longer term, for the Browns while Tampa Bay were focused on the here and now.
Against his former teammate Tom Brady, Cleveland’s Jacoby Brissett got his final start of the season. While the Browns sent him out a winner, the team can’t help but look forward to the return of Deshaun Watson from suspension.
Watson has been with the team for a couple of weeks but Brissett has been prepared as the starter. That is expected to change starting Monday but there was one major hurdle left to be overcome and, according to reports, it has been:
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has complied with the terms of his 11-game suspension, according to the NFL, and officially will be eligible on Monday to play his first game of the season next weekend against his former team, the Houston Texans.
The NFL Network also reported Watson’s imminent return.
While it was expected, Watson still has to be officially reinstated by the league on Monday. That the NFL has already confirmed that he has complied with his suspension requirements means that it is now certain to happen.
The confirmations continue Monday morning:
#Browns QB Deshaun Watson's reinstatement will become official this afternoon on the league personnel notice, per @NFLprguy. He has been permitted to participate in all team activities since November 14 and may continue to do so.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 28, 2022
The NFL suspended Watson for violating the personal conduct policy for sexual assault, as defined by the league, on massage therapists. Besides missing 11 games, Watson was required to pay a $5 million fine and “undergo a mandatory treatment program” which, based on these reports, have been satisfied.