JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Deshaun Watson apologized for his preseason debut with the Cleveland Browns, then got an ear from opponents.
Watson apologized Friday “to all the women I influenced” after he was accused by two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions.
Watson, potentially facing a one-year suspension, has publicly expressed remorse and remorse for the first time since he was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting the women during therapy sessions in 2020 and 2021.
He spoke before the opening of the team’s exhibition, a 24-13 win at Jacksonville (0-2) that saw Watson outright booed during three sets of work. Fans in one end zone could hear vulgarities chanting at Watson on his first ride.
The three-time Pro Bowler completed 1 of 5 passes for 7 yards in his first game play since January 3, 2021, with Houston.
“I think he probably wants some throws back,” said Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. “Obviously I was playing football for the first time in a while, I thought it was important for him to go out with his teammates on this schedule. I’m sure he had the butterflies and the jitters early on. But I think that he understands what he is doing.”
Watson got no first downs and 7 yards while playing without receiver Amari Cooper, running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and offensive linemen Joel Bitonio and Jack Conklin. Starting center Nick Harris, who replaces NFLPA president and salary cap JC Tretter, went down with a right knee injury during the second stretch.
Harris will undergo tests on Saturday to determine the extent of his injury, Stefanski said.