Deshaun Watson: on sidelines for Texans-Browns playoff game at NRG Stadium

Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field at halftime against the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 28, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio.




Deshaun Watson, who hasn’t played in more than two months after suffering a fractured shoulder, is on the field during pregame warmups for his Cleveland Browns playoff game against the Texans at NRG Stadium.


Watson, wearing street clothes, made the rounds on the field shaking hands with teammates before taking some pictures with Browns fans on the sidelines. He headed back into the tunnel about 90 minutes before kickoff.


When the game actually starts, Watson will watch a Texans team powered by several key players the team required as a result of trading him to Cleveland before the 2022 NFL draft.



Since the season-ending injury, Watson has been on the sidelines for some Browns home games and also was spotted at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium when the Browns played the Rams on Dec. 3. He didn’t make an appearance in Houston when the Browns beat the Texans at NRG Stadium on Dec. 24.


Watson, who played four seasons for the Texans, was sued by more than two dozen women accusing him of sexual assault during massage sessions while he was a member of the Texans. After being traded to the Browns, Watson was punished with an 11-game suspension, $5 million fine and mandated counseling.


The only other time Watson has been at NRG Stadium since the trade was when he started for Cleveland in a 27-14 Browns win in December 2022. In that game, he was booed mercilessly by Houston fans. After that game, which was Watson’s first after returning from his NFL-mandated suspension, he downplayed the rough treatment from the crowd.


“I definitely have (been booed like that before),” Watson said. “South Carolina in college (when he played at Clemson). A couple games here in Houston when we went on the road to Tennessee, Indy. It is what it is, can’t control what the fans do.”



Gideon Canice

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