Deshaun Watson is playing in an NFL game for the first time in 19 months with the Cleveland Browns taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the club's preseason opener. While the quarterback can take part in the exhibition, his status for the regular season is still very much up in the air.
Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who initially oversaw Watson's case, recommended a six-game suspension due to the quarterback recently facing 24 civil lawsuits that accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions during his time with the Houston Texans. The NFL , as is their right in the CBA, and is pushing for a year-long ban.
Before heading to TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville for the exhibition, Watson spoke with CBS Sports' Aditi Kinkhabwala and was specifically asked about Robinson's note in her ruling that Watson has not shown any remorse for his actions.
"I'm truly sorry to all the women that I've impacted in this situation," he said. "My decisions that I made in my life that put me in this position, I would definitely like to have back. I want to continue to move forward and grow and learn and show that I am a true person of character. I want to keep pushing forward."
No matter if Watson's suspension remains at six games or is increased over this appeal, he is going to be absent from the team for a significant period.
"I know I have a lot of work to put in, especially on the field to make sure I'm ready to play whenever that time comes whenever I can step back on the field," Watson said when asked how he'd spend that time away on a personal level. "The biggest thing is I want to continue counseling. I want to make sure I'm growing as a person, as an individual for my decision-making on and off the field. I want to make sure that I am evolving in the community as much as possible. And that's for the Cleveland community, that's for the NFL community and beyond."
At a special league meeting in Minneapolis, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently called Watson's actionswhile explaining the league's decision to push for a longer suspension.
A report from The Associated Press noted that Watson would accept an eight-game suspension and a $5 million fine if he and the league were able to come to a settlement. However, it does seem like the NFL is looking for an even longer ban than that.
Former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, who Goodell personally appointed, is currently overseeing the NFL's appeal.