NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell designated Hon. Peter Harvey to hear the appeal, the NFL said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
Harvey is the former attorney general of New Jersey, served as a federal prosecutor and has “deep expertise in criminal law, including domestic violence and sexual assault,” the NFL said.
Watson and the NFL players’ union have until Friday to issue a response to the appeal, which will then be decided by Harvey.
Harvey could decide to increase or decrease the discipline. If Watson’s punishment does increase, he and the player’s union can then decide if they want to file a lawsuit.
During Watson’s three-day disciplinary hearing, the league asked to have Watson suspended for the entire 2022 season.