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Could Texans QB Deshaun Watson Be Out Until 'Very Minimum' 2023?

Due to ongoing legal matters, it appears as though Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson could be sidelined for quite some time.

HOUSTON - The NFL has yet to interview Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, a fact that leads some observers to wonder just how slowly this process might roll.

On Fox Sports Radio's The Ben Maller Show, there was discussion about the timeline of Deshaun Watson's ongoing legal matters. The show suggests Watson appears unlikely to play until a 'very minimum' of 2023. 

“If you look at the timeline on this, barring a drastic sea change, Deshaun Watson will not be playing in an NFL game until the very minimum 2023. That’s the EARLIEST. How did I get to that point? He’s going to be put on the Commissioner’s Exempt List – that’s going to happen likely in the next month before training camp opens up.” 

Maller guesses that Watson will be placed on the  Commissioner's Exempt List before 2021 training camp opens. That could mean he will miss the entire upcoming season.

READ MORE: Brevin Jordan: Breakout Rookie Star TE for Houston Texans?

Depositions are expected to begin in September without a specific date, which is beyond the start of the 2021 NFL season. Meanwhile, Watson isn't scheduled to give his deposition until early February 2022. 

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It was also noted by Maller that a trial date would be in May or early June 2022. If the estranged Texans QB is found guilty in civil court, the NFL would surely punish him with a lengthy suspension -- potentially putting the 2022 NFL season in jeopardy for a potential return. 

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Even with all of this taken into consideration, there is still an open criminal investigation being conducted by the Houston Police Department. 

A lot still remains in the balance in regards to the off-the-field matters related to Watson. But based on some observers' views, it appears as though expecting him to make a return any time in the relative near future would be unwise. 

The Texans are expected to deploy Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback for the start of the 2021 NFL season. Beyond that point, the team strongly needs to evaluate potential long-term solutions that it hopes can be solved with rookie Davis Mills.

And a solution to the Deshaun dilemma? That remains unclear - and maybe distant.

READ MORE: Texans' Deshaun Watson is Top-5 On Chris Simms' Best NFL QBs List