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Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson permitted to return to team facility Monday

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is permitted to return to the team's facility on Monday.

CLEVELAND — As the Cleveland Browns (2-3) look to bounce back from their 30-28 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, they'll welcome a familiar face back to Berea. On Monday, star quarterback Deshaun Watson is permitted to return to the team's facility as he continues to serve his 11-game suspension for violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy.

In August, former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled that Watson violated the league's Personal Conduct Policy on the following three counts:

  • Conduct that Qualifies as a Sexual Assault
  • Conduct that Poses a Genuine Danger to the Safety and Well-Being of Another Person
  • Conduct that Undermines, or Puts at Risk, the Integrity of the NFL

While Robinson -- who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association -- as the league's disciplinary officer initially issued a six-game suspension for Watson, the league exercised its ability to appeal to ruling to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or a league-appointed designee. But before the league-appointed designee, former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, could issue a ruling, the league and Watson agreed on a settlement for the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback to serve an 11-game suspension and pay a $5 million fine. Additionally, Watson was required to continue to undergo mental health counseling. 

Watson's violations come as a result of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including harassment and assault during his time with the Houston Texans. Over the course of the past year, the Clemson product has reached settlements on 23 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct, with one lawsuit ongoing.

While Watson will now be permitted to attend team meetings, he won't be allowed to take part in team practices until November 14. Meanwhile, the 27-year-old signal-caller will be allowed to make his 2022 regular season debut on December 4 in the Browns' Week 13 matchup against his former team, the Texans.

Asked about Watson's return to the team's facility this past Friday, Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski noted that per league rules, he hasn't had contact with his star quarterback since his suspension went into effect on August 30.

“I have not talked to him since the day that he walked out of the building," Stefanski said. "Looking forward to seeing him and getting him back around his teammates. I know there are limitations to what he can do early. I think he can be in meetings but can’t be out in practice, walkthrough and those type of things. Will be great to get him back in the building."

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