Deshaun Watson is on track to return from his 11-game suspension on Dec. 4 when the Cleveland Browns play the Houston Texans.

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Browns QB Deshaun Watson eligible to rejoin teammates at practice

Quarterback Deshaun Watson is back with the Cleveland Browns, participating in practice and meetings at the team facility for the first time since the start of the regular season.

The next full-squad session is Wednesday in Berea, Ohio, but Watson is expected to be working overtime to get ready for the Dec. 4 game at Houston.

Watson’s 11-game suspension runs through Week 12 — including the bye week — before the ban is lifted just in time for his debut with the Browns against the Texans.

Watson was acquired from the Texans in March and signed to a $250 million contract. But he was banned for 11 games in August for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, when the NFL ruled his behavior with massage therapists was “egregious” and “predatory.”

Watson agreed to a $5 million fine and the 11-game suspension and vowed to undergo counseling and treatment.

Since the ruling, Watson was mostly away from the team. He was cleared to attend meetings and use the weight room facilities last month.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Watson would primarily be working in individual drills but would take some reps with the offense as his return nears.

Cleveland lost to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and is 3-6, well out of the current AFC playoff picture with eight regular-season games to go.

Jacoby Brissett has been the starting quarterback in Watson’s place, but Stefanski said Watson is the starter Dec. 4 at Houston barring an injury.

–Field Level Media

October 23, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) tackles San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) for a safety during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

NFL suspends Chiefs DE Frank Clark for 2 games

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark received a two-game suspension from the NFL for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, multiple media outlets reported on Tuesday.

Clark’s ban stems from his pleading no contest in September to two counts of misdemeanor possession of an assault weapon for separate incidents in 2021. He was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service.

The Chiefs (5-2) are on a bye this week. Kansas City will host the Tennessee Titans in Week 9 and Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10 before Clark is eligible to return on Monday, Nov. 14.

Clark, 29, has 15 tackles and three sacks in seven games (all starts) this season. He recorded 1.5 sacks and a safety in the Chiefs’ 44-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Clark has 239 tackles, 56.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries in 112 career games (80 starts) with the Seattle Seahawks (2015-18) and Chiefs. He was selected by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson checks the balls before an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Suspended Browns QB Deshaun Watson returns to training facility

Suspended Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is beginning his way back to the team, allowed to return to the team facility in Berea, Ohio, on Monday for the first time since his 11-game suspension was levied.

Watson was suspended Aug. 30 for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct as he received treatment from about two dozen massage therapists.

NFL Network reported that Watson indeed showed up to the facility on Monday.

Under the terms of the suspension, he can work with the medical staff, meet with non-football staff and attend meetings. He also is allowed to take part in workouts with the strength and conditioning staff, meet one-on-one with head coach Kevin Stefanski, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt or quarterbacks coach Drew Petzing.

Watson, 27, is not allowed to participate in group workouts, attend practices, team events or games or talk to the media.

“We’ll work through what we’re allowed to do with him for the foreseeable future,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said during a press conference on Monday. “I believe he’s in the meeting rooms with our guys and he’s in there with the guys right now, which is great for him and us to have him back with his teammates. I know he can’t be out on the field and working out just yet with guys, so we’ll just take that one day by day.”

Some restrictions will be lifted on Nov. 14, when he can resume practicing with the Browns. He’s eligible to play Dec. 4 at Houston, where he played four seasons with the Texans.

The Browns, with veteran Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, are off to a 2-3 start, tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for second place in the AFC North.

Cleveland acquired Watson via trade from the Texans for a bounty of draft picks — including three first-rounders — and signed him to a five-year, $230 million contract in March. Watson reached financial settlements with 23 of the 24 massage therapists who filed civil suits against him.

Watson has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 14,539 yards and 104 touchdowns with 36 interceptions. He led the league with 4,823 passing yards in 2020. He also has rushed for 1,677 yards and 17 scores in his career, and he owns a 28-25 regular-season record as a starter.

Meanwhile, in Houston, the Texans announced Monday that fans could trade in their old Watson jerseys, as well as those of select other former players, for 44 percent off a new jersey at the team’s shop this week.

–Field Level Media

Jul 27, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) works out during training camp at Advent Health Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Mike Evans appeal denied, out vs. Packers

The NFL upheld the one-game suspension for Mike Evans on Wednesday, meaning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver will sit out this weekend’s game against the visiting Green Bay Packers.

Evans’ appeal was heard on Tuesday by James Thrash, the appeals officer jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association.

Evans, 29, was suspended for instigating a fracas with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore this past Sunday.

The incident came with 12:49 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers’ 20-10 victory.

After Lattimore began shouting at Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, Bucs running back Leonard Fournette pushed Lattimore away and Lattimore pushed back. Evans joined the fray with a head of steam — shoving and leveling Lattimore — and engaged with other Saints before the dust settled.

Evans and Lattimore were ejected.

“We are disappointed that the league upheld a suspension when there are several arguments of players doing more egregious violations including: punching, kicking and choking players and not being suspended,” Evans’ agent, Deryk Gilmore, said in a statement, per ESPN. “In addition, Evans had already been ejected, which is penalty enough, but the league chose to discipline him even more. This is unfortunate, but we will respect the league’s decision.”

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said Evans violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(g) which prohibits “unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who is out of the play or should not have reasonably anticipated such contact.”

He also violated Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits any act that is “contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.”

“Your aggressive contact could have caused serious injury to your opponent and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional,” Runyan wrote in a letter to Evans.

The Bucs (2-0) host the Packers (1-1) on Sunday.

Evans had three catches for 61 yards before being ejected. The four-time Pro Bowl selection entered 2022 as the only player in NFL history to begin his career with eight straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.

–Field Level Media

Aug 20, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Denver Broncos defensive tackle Jonathan Harris (92) with Buffalo Bills tackle Bobby Hart (68) in the third quarter of a pre-season game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Bills OT Bobby Hart banned 1 game for postgame punch in tunnel

The NFL suspended Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Bobby Hart for one game Tuesday for unsportsmanlike conduct after he threw a punch in the stadium tunnel after Monday’s game.

After the host Bills blew out the Tennessee Titans 41-7, the backup guard confronted an opposing player and threw a punch, which missed the intended target and hit a Titans coach in the head.

“As both teams were heading to the tunnel, you walked directly across the field to seek out your opponent,” NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote in a letter to Hart. “You approached him near the end zone and a coach had to hold you back as others shook hands. Once you and your opponent were in the end zone near the tunnel, you confronted him and immediately swung at him with a closed fist, striking the head of a Tennessee coach.

“Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”

Hart, 28, is familiar with the Titans, having spent about a month with the team during last season. He got into three games for Tennessee last year, starting one, sandwiched between stints as a backup in Buffalo.

Hart is in line to miss Buffalo’s Week 3 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, a game pitting two 2-0 division rivals. But he has the right to the appeal, which would be heard by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, whom the NFL and NFLPA have jointly appointed as hearing officers for on-field discipline.

Hart is in his eighth NFL season, having played 85 games (67 starts) with the New York Giants (2015-17), Cincinnati Bengals (2018-20), Bills and Titans.

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) is brought down by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay (50) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs LB Willie Gay Jr. suspended four games for conduct violation

The NFL suspended Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr. four games for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.

Gay was arrested in January for misdemeanor property damage after he broke a vacuum cleaner during an argument with the mother of his child. There were no reports of anyone being harmed in the incident.

Gay reached a plea agreement to avoid trial, which involved him entering a diversion program.

A second-round draft pick in 2020 out of Mississippi State, Gay began the season with 16 tackles and two pass breakups in the Chiefs’ first two games. In 30 career games (21 starts), Gay has 103 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two interceptions for Kansas City.

He will miss the Chiefs’ upcoming games against the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills and will be eligible to return for the team’s Week 7 road game against the San Francisco 49ers.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide receiver Jahleel Billingsley (19) is upended after a reception in the first quarter by Cincinnati Bearcats safety Ja'Von HIcks (3) during the 2021 Cotton Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Texas TE Jahleel Billingsley serving six-game suspension

Texas tight end Jahleel Billingsley is serving a six-game suspension for an undisclosed reason.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian announced the suspension Saturday night following the Longhorns’ 52-10 win against Louisiana-Monroe in their season opener.

Billingsley didn’t play in the contest, giving him five games remaining on his suspension.

Sarkisian said the NCAA-invoked suspension is not legal in nature and it dates to Billingsley’s time at Alabama. The tight end transferred to Texas following the 2021 season.

The two worked together when Sarkisian was offensive coordinator at Alabama before becoming the Longhorns’ head coach.

Billingsley played in 36 games over three seasons at Alabama and caught 37 passes for 559 yards and six touchdowns.

The Longhorns host Alabama next weekend in Austin, Texas.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee linebacker William Mohan (18) muscles his way through the Bowling Green line during a game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.

Kns Tennessee Bowling Green Football

Tennessee suspends LB William Mohan after arrest

Tennessee suspended sophomore linebacker William Mohan following his weekend arrest on a charge of felony domestic aggravated assault.

“We are aware of the recent arrest of football student-athlete William Mohan. He was immediately suspended indefinitely from all team activities,” the university said in a statement Tuesday.

Knoxville police said Mohan left the scene before officers responded to a domestic disturbance call on Saturday.

A woman told officers she had invited Mohan to her home but he arrived intoxicated. She said that when she denied his sexual advances, he grabbed her face with one hand and her throat with the other. She said she screamed and escaped his grasp and demanded that Mohan leave her bedroom, but he repeatedly refused even after she went to get a knife.

A roommate eventually convinced Mohan to leave, but the woman told police she let him back in and he passed out on the couch. At that point, she said she began calling numbers on his cell phone to find him a ride home.

Police arrested Mohan the following day. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 16.

Mohan transferred to Tennessee from Michigan before the 2021 season. He played mostly on special teams for the Volunteers and recorded nine tackles.

The Volunteers open the season at home against Ball State on Sept. 1.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; LSU Tigers running back John Emery Jr. (4) runs for a first down during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: LSU RB John Emery appealing two-game suspension

LSU running back John Emery is appealing his two-game suspension to start the season, The Athletic reported.

He was suspended for games against Florida State (Sept. 4) and Southern (Sept. 10) over academic issues. The former five-star prospect missed the 2021 season for the same reason.

Big things were expected from Emery, a Louisiana native, when he enrolled at LSU in 2019 as the nation’s No. 2 running back, per the 247Sports composite. He had eye issues as a freshman, struggled as a sophomore and was suspended as a junior.

New coach Brian Kelly said in the spring he liked what he had seen from Emery, adding the running back had made academic efforts.

“I’m really proud of the progress he’s made since my short time here in making that happen,” Kelly said. “And I think we’re gonna see him play for us this fall because of that. And that’s all on him, right? He had to make that decision, and good for him.”

Emery said he fell behind in school in 2020 as COVID-19 had a severe impact on his immediate family and created a hardship. His appeals to play in 2021 were denied.

In all, Emery has appeared in 19 games with the Tigers, running for 556 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s caught 20 passes for 133 yards.

Penn State transfer Noah Cain has been working with the first team in Emery’s absence.

The Athletic also reported that junior cornerback Raydarious Jones will miss the 2022 season over academic reasons. A fourth-year cornerback, he played in nine games last season.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 looks on during the first quarter of a preseason NFL game Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Cleveland Browns defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-13. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Jacksonville Jaguars 2022 Cleveland Browns First Home Pre Season Scrimmage Second Scrimmage Preseason

Browns QB Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, fined $5M

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson received an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine for off-field conduct violations related to “predatory” behavior involving more than two dozen women who alleged sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior.

Watson, represented by the NFLPA, and the NFL settled on the punishment after the league appealed an initial six-game suspension was rendered from an investigation into the allegations.

The NFL will confirm compliance with the agreement. Watson is first eligible for reinstatement on Nov. 28.

“Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday. “This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine, and a more substantial suspension. We are grateful to Judge (Sue L.) Robinson and Peter Harvey for their efforts in addressing these matters, which laid the foundation for reaching this conclusion.”

Goodell said the NFL and Browns will each donate $1 million to create a new fund “that will support the work of non-profit organizations across the country that educate young people on healthy relationships, promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, support survivors, and related causes.”

Watson, 26, said in a press conference following the NFL announcement on Thursday that he was ready to move forward with his career.

“I’ve always been able to stand on my innocence and always said I never assaulted or disrespected anyone,” Watson said. “But at the same point I have to continue to push forward with my life and career.”

Watson recently offered an apology “to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation” but previously had maintained that he had “no regrets” about his actions during massage sessions where the alleged wrongdoing took place.

“I’m grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and extremely appreciative of the tremendous support I have received throughout my short time with the Browns organization,” Watson said in a statement released Thursday by the Browns. “I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decisions I made. My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my teammates however possible while I’m away from the team. I’m excited about what the future holds for me in Cleveland.”

Browns co-owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam offered the following statement:

“As we have previously conveyed, Deshaun and his representatives have abided by the NFL and NFLPA structure awaiting a final decision and we have respected the process. “Now that a decision on discipline has been reached, we understand that a decision on discipline has been reached, we understand this is a real opportunity to create meaningful change and we are committed to investing in programs in Northeast Ohio that will educate our youth regarding awareness, understanding, and most importantly, prevention of sexual misconduct and the many underlying causes of such behavior.”

The Browns acquired Watson via trade from the Houston Texans and signed him to a five-year, $230 million contract in the offseason. Watson reached financial settlements with most of the women involved.

When the suspension ends, Watson would be eligible make his regular-season debut with the Browns in Week 13 at Houston in December. The Browns have a bye in Week 9.

Until then, Jacoby Brissett is slated to start for the Browns.

Robinson, a former U.S. district judge, picked by the league and the NFLPA as an independent disciplinary officer, handed down a six-game suspension earlier this month. The NFL appealed Robinson’s decision, wanting Watson to be suspended for a full season. Harvey, a former New Jersey attorney general, was chosen by Goodell to hear the appeal. Goodell said the “evidence” called for more than a six-game ban.

Two women filed criminal complaints against the then-Texans quarterback, and 25 leveled lawsuits against him. Watson did not play in 2021 amid the scandal and his desire to be traded.

One woman dropped her lawsuit, and the quarterback has settled, or come to terms on settlements, with all but one of the others.

“Each and every snap, I want to make sure I cherish that because I’m not sure when the next time I’ll be able to get out there with those guys,” Watson said Friday after playing for the first time with the Browns in a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Watson has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 14,539 yards and 104 touchdowns with 36 interceptions. He led the league with 4,823 passing yards in 2020. He also has rushed for 1,677 yards and 17 scores in his career, and he owns a 28-25 regular-season record as a starter.

In three postseason games, following the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he went 1-2 while completing 80 of 126 passes for 870 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.

In the Browns’ 24-13 victory over the Jaguars on Friday, Watson completed just one of his five pass attempts for 7 yards.

–Field Level Media