Watson, Browns open camp as NFL rule looms

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson is practicing and waiting. He had a lot of work on it.

Cleveland’s controversial quarterback takes the field Wednesday as the Browns open practice camp with no word yet on whether Watson will be suspended by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy.

Watson has been accused by more than two dozen massage therapists in Texas of sexual misconduct, and the three-time Pro Bowler faces possible punishment from league disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who has been weighing his case for weeks.

There was an expectation that Robinson, a retired judge who was appointed jointly by the league and the NFL Players Association to handle player sanctions, would make her decision before camp, but that did not happen.

As his decision looms, the Browns, coming off a disappointing 8-9 season, are preparing for a 17-game stretch that will be dramatically altered if the 26-year-old Watson is unable to play.

All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett said expectations — for himself and the Browns — will remain intact whether Watson is eligible or not.

“It doesn’t change regardless of how that situation plays out, and we’re going to hold ourselves to a higher standard no matter what,” said Garrett, who set a team record with 16 sacks last season. “Our defense is going to do what we do. Last I heard, they can’t win if they don’t score points.”

Even if he is suspended, Watson will be able to practice with the Browns, and Garrett said his presence should allow the team to build better chemistry than it did a year ago when close losses and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s erratic throwing. in the team not being united.

“We’re moving like whether or not he’s going to be (on the field),” Garrett said. “You don’t really have it in your mind like that. I mean he’s on the field with us right now. He’s going to be on the field with us this season training and working out.

“He’s going to be in the weight room and he’s going to be interacting with us. He’s going to be with us for all intents and purposes.”

The Browns have dealt with the uncertainty surrounding Watson almost since they traded him and signed him to a $230 million contract in March.

Sophomore cornerback Greg Newsome II said Watson didn’t let his situation become a distraction or affect his new teammates.

“I feel like when we walk into the building, it doesn’t behave that way anyway,” Newsome said. “When you walk into this building, you care about football and only football, so we’re going to care about football and only football.

“We’ll let the legal stuff play out the way it’s supposed to. We’ve got to focus on getting ready for the season. Obviously, we’re hoping D-Wat will be there Week 1, but if he’s not, we’ve got guys who are going to be able to come in. and play right away.”

Watson, Browns open camp as NFL rule looms

Source link Watson, Browns open camp as NFL rule looms

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