The NFL and Players Association have agreed to an 11-game suspension for Deshaun Watson and a $5 million fine. This disciplinary settlement means that Watson will be eligible to return in Week 13 for a road game against the Houston Texans.
Per the decision of Sue Robinson, Watson’s original suspension was six games. Now he’ll miss more than half of the season, losing out on games against the Panthers, Jets, Steelers, Falcons, Chargers, Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Dolphins, Bills and Buccaneers. He will be back for Cleveland’s final three AFC North games, as well as the games against the Texans, Saints and Commanders.
Based on this morning’s announcement, DraftKings Sportsbook actually kept the Browns' odds to win the Super Bowl at 30/1, but did adjust from 16/1 to 20/1 to win the AFC and + 320 to + 380 to win the AFC North. Cleveland’s win total, which has been off the board while the NFL’s appeal has been pending, now sits at 8.5.
Watson has been getting extended reps with the first-team offense in practice and is able to keep playing in the preseason, though head coach Kevin Stefanski said that Watson will not play against the Eagles this weekend.
Per the NFL’s official release, Watson’s suspension begins on the final roster cutdown day (August 30) and will be allowed back in the Browns’ facility on October 10. He can resume practicing November 14 in advance of the December 4 game against the Texans.
There were reports that the Browns might be interested in Jimmy Garoppolo if Watson’s suspension was extended, but five games may not be enough to move the needle. We’ll have to wait and see if the Browns reach out to the 49ers or if they roll with Jacoby Brissett as their starting quarterback for Week 1 and beyond.