A breakdown of which games he will miss, and when he returns, plus other ruling details.
The news finally came down early Monday morning that Judge Sue Robinson recommended a six-game suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Parties involved in the disciplinary hearing for #Browns QB Deshaun Watson have been informed by Judge Sue Robinson that Watson should be suspended 6 games, sources say.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 1, 2022
Sunday evening, the NFLPA announced that they, along with Watson, would accept Robinson’s ruling and would not appeal, and encouraged the NFL to do the same. The NFL now has three days to appeal Robinson’s decision; and if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell really wanted to, he could overrule the recommendation. We will see how things play out in that regard this week.
At the very least, we know that Watson is definitely gone for the first six games of the regular season. He will still be allowed to participate in all of training camp and the preseason games. Jacoby Brissett was signed for this very reason, to hopefully steer the ship in a winning direction until Watson’s assumed suspension was over.
From a football perspective, Browns fans were hoping for a four-game suspension, because Cleveland arguably has the easiest four-game stretch to open the season of any team in the NFL. Things get tough after that, with the fifth and sixth games being against the Chargers and Patriots. A silver lining for those two games is that they are both at home.
Watson’s return is currently scheduled for Week 7, a road game against the Baltimore Ravens before facing the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals. Per Robinson’s ruling, he would be allowed to practice again starting in Week 4, which would give him time to prepare for his return game. All things considered, it’s a situation that Browns fans will probably gladly take from a football perspective. (I hate that I keep having to use that disclaimer, by the way.)
With Watson’s low base salary in 2022, he would only be fined six game checks for a total of $345,000. One note included in Robinson’s ruling is that it “requires no massages other than directed by club personnel and no adverse involvement with no law enforcement.”