Robinson handed down this verdict after a three-day hearing and weeks of deliberations.
However, the decision is not yet final because the league can appeal to Robinson’s findings.
If they do appeal the decision, Watson’s fate won’t be decided until a week or two.
But granted that the recommendation sticks, Watson can play as early as Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens.
That return will end his hiatus that stretched from last season when he was still with the Houston Texans.
In that case, NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport revealed the teams that Watson won’t face.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 1, 2022
Rapoport tweeted, “From a football standpoint, this means Deshaun Watson will miss games against: #Panthers, #Jets, #Steelers, #Falcons, #Chargers, #Patriots. Oct. 23 against the #Ravens would be his first game back.”
If Jacoby Brissett will take over for Watson, he can still lead the Browns to victory in some of those games.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers, and New England Patriots are tough opposition because they were playoff teams last season.
The Chargers have also upgraded on defense which may give the Browns a tough time executing on offense.
Pittsburgh also has one of the best defensive units in the league led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt.
Brissett will also face a tough Patriots squad with an improving quarterback in Mac Jones.
A Decent Record Should Give Cleveland A Shot
Watson will have a good slate to start with if the Browns end up with at least a 3-3 record or better.
They would need all the wins they can get because their schedule doesn’t get any easier.
After the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7, they will face the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the succeeding weeks.
Cleveland will also battle again with Cincinnati and Baltimore before facing the New Orleans Saints.
Therefore, the Browns will benefit from Watson regaining his Pro Bowl form to make the playoffs.