Saturday, February 4, 2023

Deshaun Watson practices but doesn’t speak before debut

BERIA, Ohio ( Associated Press) – Deshaun Watson is ready to play, not talk.

Cleveland’s starting quarterback did not speak to reporters before practice Wednesday for the first time since the NFL lifted his 11-game suspension.

Watson was accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than two dozen women. These movements were performed during massage therapy sessions when the quarterback played for the Houston Texans.

On Sunday, Watson will make his Browns debut against the Texans, the team that drafted him in 2017 and traded him to Cleveland in March.

In August, the 27-year-old accepted a suspension by the league, a $5 million fine, as well as an obligation to attend psychiatric therapy.

The athlete returned to the Browns last month and has been training for the past two weeks.

Usually, Cleveland’s starting quarterback speaks on Wednesdays when there are games on Sundays. Jacoby Brissett has followed that routine throughout the season.

However, Watson did not speak to reporters from a portable podium. He spent the 45 minutes the locker room was open, sitting in his chair, putting on his headphones, and checking his phone.

The Browns did not give a reason for Watson’s withdrawal until August 18, when he would have had his first interaction with the media since the suspension was announced.

When asked why Watson did not speak up on Wednesday, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski replied: “It’s not my department.”

The last time he spoke in an interview, Watson insisted he had done no wrong.

Watson has settled 23 lawsuits filed by women who accused him of indecent exposure, as well as kissing and touching them against their will. Two other cases are pending.

Two grand juries in Texas have declined to file criminal charges against him.

Toni Buzby, who represents most of the women suing Watson, said about 10 whistleblowers are planning to attend Sunday’s game at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Buzby said the women intended to make the following statement: “We matter.”

Nation World News Desk
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