Deshaun Watson is making his debut with the Cleveland Browns after serving an 11-game suspension following dozens of sexual assault claims. According to an article by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, has reportedly made “signs of progress.”
OutKick founder Clay Travis slammed Schefter as nothing but some PR fixing on Watson’s behalf.
The article cited anonymous sources within the NFL and NFL PA including one that gave an update on Watson’s confidential rehab program.
“He’s been progressing well and he wants to continue with it, and they feel it’s helping him,” the source said. “It’s just sort of ongoing as needed and it’ll be ongoing until it’s not needed anymore. And I think it’s given him a lot of help and support. But this could take a while.”
Travis was quick to point out that the NFL’s bar for what counts as progress is significantly lower than it is most other places.
As Watson took the field just past 1pm EST at his old stomping grounds of NRG Stadium, it will have been 700 days since he last played in an NFL game.
Sexual assault allegations against the former 12th overall pick in the 2017 Draft came to light in 2021. The Texans continued to pay Watson through the 2021 season, but he was inactive and never played a single snap.
Ahead of the 2022 season, he was dealt to Cleveland before being hit with an 11-game suspension.
Schefter Article Feels Like A PR Spin For Embattled Watson
Watson has continued to deny these allegations and had never faced criminal charges for the incidents. Travis noted this saying that players aren’t expected to be saints and should be eligible to play if they’re not behind bars.
However, he took aim at insiders like Schefter shilling for league interests.
He’s probably right. There’s a good chance that those sources were in some way connected to Watson. It’s certainly interesting that a story trumpeting Watson’s progress would hit the wire on the same day he makes his return.
Especially when the expectation is he will not receive the warmest reception. It definitely feels like Schefter is helping to do a bit of damage control amid the controversial return.
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