Browns QB Deshaun Watson scheduled to start preseason opener vs. Jaguars

The Cleveland Browns announced on Wednesday that quarterback Deshaun Watson is scheduled to start the team's preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday night.

The Browns added that they plan to play most of their starters on Friday in Jacksonville.

Watson currently faces a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy, but the league announced on Aug. 3 it is appealing Watson's suspension. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has designated former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to hear the appeal, and there is not currently a timetable for a ruling.

Per the 2020 collective bargaining agreement, Harvey's ruling will constitute "the full, final and complete disposition of the dispute and will be binding upon the player(s), Club(s), and parties' to the CBA."

The league is seeking at least a one-year suspension for Watson, who has been accused of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions.

Goodell explained the league's decision to appeal Watson's suspension on Tuesday, stating the evidence showed Watson committed multiple violations of the NFL's personal-conduct policy.

"We've seen the evidence," Goodell said. "[Robinson] was very clear about the evidence, should we enforce the evidence. That there was multiple violations here, and they were egregious, and it was predatory behavior. Those are things that we always felt were important for us to address in a way that's responsible."

Watson has previously denied any wrongdoing and maintained any sex with the women was consensual. Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints filed by 10 women.

Watson and Jacoby Brissett have been sharing reps with the Browns' first-team offense recently in training camp. Brissett is in line to start at quarterback for Cleveland during Watson's suspension.

Related Content