The NFL and the NFL Players Association have reached an agreement that Watson will be suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million due to his violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
That infraction stems from his civil cases of sexual misconduct, most of which he has settled.
In addition, the Browns and the NFL will add to Watson’s fine and use the money for groups that combat sexual misconduct and abuse.
The suspension will start after the Browns’ roster cutdown day.
Likewise, Watson can conduct official business in a limited capacity at the Browns’ practice facility starting in October.
He can then participate in full practices come November, in time for his possible return on December 4 against his former team, the Houston Texans.
While his suspension was being finalized, he participated in the team’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It was a forgetful stint as he completed only one of five pass attempts for seven yards.
Luckily, the Browns won that game, 24-13.
However, it will be Watson’s first and last appearance in the preseason.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 18, 2022
ESPN’s Jake Trotter confirmed that Watson won’t play in their preseason games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears.
After those games, the Browns will open the season on September 11 against the Carolina Panthers and former Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Brissett Will Likely Take Charge For Now
With Watson sidelined for 11 games, Jacoby Brissett will be the Browns’ starting quarterback.
He does have some experience as the starter for both the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots.
That will be the likeliest scenario unless the Browns are cooking up a trade for a quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo.
But at this stage of preseason, head coach Kevin Stefanski will go with Brissett and wait until Watson returns.