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When will Deshaun Watson return from suspension? Here's the week Browns QB can come back from NFL ban

Sporting News logo Sporting News 10/10/2022 Joe Rivera
© Provided by Sporting News

The factory of sadness is open for business.

The Browns will have to continue to navigate the vast majority of the 2022 NFL season without quarterback Deshaun Watson. 

Infamously, Cleveland traded for the quarterback this past offseason, and then signed him to a mega-extension, despite Watson being embroiled in sexual misconduct civil cases and facing a suspension from the NFL.

After months of legal proceedings and back-and-forth between the league, Watson and the NFLPA, the passer was handed a lengthy suspension in August, ending a yearlong saga that will keep him off the field for almost two years.

MORE: Browns QB timeline — Every starting QB for Cleveland since 1999

Here's how long Cleveland will be without their franchise QB hopeful:

When will Deshaun Watson return from suspension?

Watson can return from suspension in Week 13 (Dec. 4), coincidentally (or not) to face off against his former team, the Texans. The game is scheduled to take place in Houston.

Watson has not been allowed to practice with the Browns since Aug. 30. He can return to the team's training facility Oct. 10 and resume practicing Nov. 14 before he is officially reinstated.

Backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs told days before Watson's return to the facility that all of the Browns' quarterbacks have remained in touch in the starter's absence, talking several times a week. 

"It will be good to have him back in the facility and see his face," Dobbs said.

MORE: Everything to know about Deshaun Watson's suspension

Deshaun Watson suspension timeline

On Aug. 18, the Browns quarterback and the league agreed to an 11-game suspension beginning in Week 1 vs. the Panthers. As long as he stays healthy and out of further legal issues, he can return to the field in Week 13.

Watson's suspension puts Jacoby Brissett under center for the majority of the season. Watson will be off the field for the following regular season games:

  • Week 1: at Panthers (26-24 win)
  • Week 2: vs. Jets (31-30 loss)
  • Week 3: vs. Steelers (29-17 win)
  • Week 4: at Falcons (23-20 loss)
  • Week 5: vs. Chargers (30-28 loss)
  • Week 6: vs. Patriots
  • Week 7: at Ravens
  • Week 8: vs. Bengals
  • Week 9: Bye
  • Week 10: at Dolphins
  • Week 11: at Bills
  • Week 12: vs. Buccaneers

The 11-game suspension was agreed on by both the NFL and the NFLPA, after legal proceedings and a dropped appeal by the league.

MORE: Why Deshaun Watson's contract is barely impacted by suspension

It's unclear where exactly the 11-game number came from, but it's longer than the original six-game suspension that was decreed by Judge Sue L. Robinson, the independent arbiter overseeing the disciplinary hearings for Watson. The NFL dropped its appeal of Robinson's decision and agreed to the 11 games.

Watson also has to pay a $5 million fine and has to undergo counseling as part of his punishment.

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