The Jacksonville Jaguars will have all eyes on their preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on Friday night, with the Browns announcing today Deshaun Watson would get the start at quarterback.
24 sexual civil lawsuits have accused Watson of lewd sexual behavior during massage appointments. Watson has denied all allegations, and 23 of the cases have since been settled.
Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints filed by 10 women, though the former Houston Texans quarterback has still drawn intense scrutiny from the NFL for his alleged predatory behavior.
Watson was suspended six games for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Aug. 1. Robinson's written reported stated that Watson's "predatory conduct cast 'a negative light on the League and its players.'"
Robinson's report, which spanned 16 pages but ultimately ruled against the NFL's suggestion for a year-long suspended, stated that Watson engaged in conduct that presented "a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person, and conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL."
The NFL has since appealed Robinson's decision and is looking to push for at least a year-long suspension. Watson missed the 2021 season after he demanded a trade from the Texans, who employed Watson when each allegation was made. In the event Watson plays on Friday against the Jaguars but is then suspended, it would make the Jaguars the only team Watson will have played in the last two seasons.
"We've seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week. "There were multiple violations that were egregious, and it was predatory behavior."
The Jaguars and Browns will play at TIAA Bank Field at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Jaguars will also start key players, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence.