Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s rough start to the 2023 season continued on Saturday when the NFL fined him for three incidents that took place during Cleveland’s loss to the Steelers on Monday night.
Watson, 28, received fines totaling $35,513 for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and two unnecessary roughness violations for facemask infractions during a 26–22 loss to the Steelers on Monday Night Football, the league announced.
In regard to the unsportsmanlike conduct fine, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Watson was penalized for a “violent gesture during a celebration” in the end zone. The clarification confirmed the veteran QB avoided a fine for making contact with a referee in the fourth quarter, a much-criticized move that did not incur a penalty.
Here’s the “violent gesture” that led to one of Deshaun Watson’s three fines from Monday night.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 23, 2023
Watson and David Njoku were each fined $13,659 for the gun-themed celebration after a #Browns TD. Watson was fined $35,513 total, including two fines for unnecessary roughness. pic.twitter.com/bYgU7D3kVY
The fines add another lowlight to a slow start for Watson in his second year with Cleveland (1–1).
Against Pittsburgh, Watson completed 22 of 40 pass attempts for 235 yards with a touchdown and an interception while taking six sacks. The poor game followed a pedestrian outing in Week 1, with Watson logging 154 yards, a TD and an interception and taking three sacks in a win over Cincinnati.