BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson is practicing with the Browns for the first time since his 11-game NFL suspension started in August.
Watson, who was accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women in Texas, returned to the field with his teammates on Wednesday.
Despite temperatures in the low 30s, Watson, wearing an orange No. 4 jersey and orange socks, had on short sleeves during the portion of practice open to reporters.
Watson fired passes to Cleveland’s wide receivers while periodically tucking his hands into a warmer wrapped around his waist.
It was his first practice since Aug. 30, 12 days after the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback reached a settlement with the league, agreeing to his multi-game ban, a $5 million fine and to undergo treatment and counseling. The league ruled Watson violated its personal conduct policy.
As long as he meets requirements, Watson can play on Dec. 4 when the Browns visit Houston, which drafted him in 2017. Watson spent four seasons with the Texans before he demanded a trade and was eventually dealt to Cleveland in March for a slew of draft picks, including three first-rounders.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski would not reveal any specifics about plans to get Watson ready to play in two weeks while also preparing starter Jacoby Brissett for this Sunday’s game at Buffalo.
Watson took the majority of snaps with Cleveland’s starting offense in training camp and started the Browns’ exhibition opener at Jacksonville before his suspension kicked in. He was banned from the team’s facility until mid-October, when he was allowed to attend meetings and work out.
The 27-year-old tried to keep his skills sharp by working with a private quarterback coach at an area training center during his suspension.
Watson reached financial settlements in 23 civil lawsuits filed against him with two others remaining open. Two grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges.