Browns QB Deshaun Watson returns from suspension for Week 13 start vs. Texans

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Deshaun Watson starts vs. Texans in Week 13

Watson will face his former team in his first game back after a lengthy suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy for accusations that he sexually assaulted and engaged in other inappropriate sexual misconduct with over two dozen massage therapists. Watson was allowed back at practice on November 16 and returned to the team’s training facility on October 10.

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The 2017 first-round pick by the Texans draws the Week 13 start in Houston, where he’ll make his return to the field for the first time since January 3, 2021 in a 41-38 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Watson did not play last season after a trade request and the lawsuits that started coming in from the plaintiffs that accused him of sexual assault and misconduct.

Deshaun Watson contract and stats

Watson got the richest contract in NFL history when he was acquired by the Browns, prior to the announcement of his suspension and additional investigation into his misdeeds. He signed a five-year, $230 million contract that was fully-guaranteed. The Browns also worked around the likelihood of a suspension by setting his base salary at $1,035,000 for the first year. However, the contract did include a $44,965,000 signing bonus.

His salary cap hit for the next four seasons will be $54,993,000 for a Browns team that clearly needs help at other positions on the field based on this season’s results. Watson should provide some offensive upside, though, as he owns a career 104/36 TD/INT ratio. He led the league in passing yards in 2020 with 4,823 and has a career completion percentage of 67.8%.

Jacoby Brissett goes out winner in final start vs. Tom Brady, Buccaneers

The impending return of Watson made for an emotional Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium for Jacoby Brissett. He helped lead the Cleveland Browns to a 23-17 overtime win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was all smiles during his postgame interview and press conference. Brissett received a game ball from head coach Kevin Stefanski after the game, as Watson will take over as the starter in Week 13 against the Houston Texans.

Jacoby Brissett stats through Week 12

Brissett is not the reason the Browns are just 4-7. He did a more than admirable job in a tough situation, knowing that his reign as starter was going to last 11 games no matter what because Watson was made the highest-paid quarterback when he was acquired via trade back in March for three first-round picks and two additional draft picks.

Brissett posted a 12/6 TD/INT ratio with a 64.1% completion percentage with 2,608 yards on 368 attempts. He had the highest completion percentage of his career, the most passing yards per game and would have had his best season ever if his tenure wasn’t coming to an end. He also rushed for 238 yards, the most he’s had since 2017.

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Cleveland Browns (-7, 46) vs. Houston Texans

The Browns went from -5 on the lookahead line against the Texans out to -7 with a solid performance on Sunday and Watson’s return. Houston was also doubled up 30-15 by the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. If the consensus line holds at -7 or higher, it will be the biggest road favorite role for Cleveland since Week 3 of the 1995 season against the Houston Oilers. The Browns were mostly -6.5 with some -7s three times during the 2020 season in which they ended an 18-year playoff drought.

Watson will be talked about extensively this week across the sports media landscape and also right here at VSiN. Keep an eye on the latest NFL betting news and listen live or watch live to hear what our hosts and experts have to say. Follow VSiN on Twitter and subscribe to our VSiN YouTube page for show highlights on Watson and all of this week’s other talking points.